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The rules which how now brought the UK into line with the rest of the EU will mean that defective warning lights and faulty car seats can now be the cause of a failed MOT test.
The new changes have been put in place to reflect the growing sophistication of modern cars but the AA has warned that motorists could be faced with huge bills in order to comply with the rules.
A typical new car in 2013 will contain 40 or more computers as well as a high level of technology which is a world away from new cars in the early 1990s when the MOT test last underwent a major revision, which is why it is necessary that the changes go ahead – to help bring the MOT test in line with 21st century car technology.
“If you’ve been happily ignoring a warning light because it’s not part of the MOT, these changes mean your car could now be on the MOT scrap heap or you’ll need to fork out on expensive repairs,” said Andy Smith, the AA’s patrolman of the year.
“While it could have expensive consequences for someone running an old car on a tight budget, these changes are long overdue as airbags, for example, have been widely fitted since the mid-nineties.
“It’s important that these systems remain safe and effective throughout the life of the vehicle.
Some of the other key changes that will be put in place include testing whether an array of dashboard lights are working properly, as well as checking seat belts work properly, brake fluid is at the correct level and headlights are working. Tyre pressure monitoring systems, which became compulsory on all new cars from January 2012, will also be checked.
It will also be necessary for car seats to be able to move forward and backwards to ensure that drivers can reach the pedals competently. If cars seats contain an electric motor, which is the case in many modern vehicles, this will be checked separately.
Car doors will also be under scrutiny to check that they open and close properly, as well as the warning light which shows if a door has been fully shut.
Some of the additional areas which will be the subject of more rigorous testing will include key safety features such as airbags and electronic stability controls as well as a car’s speedometer and catalytic converter.
The Mot testing interval will remain the same with the Government resisting EU proposals to delay the first inspection by 12 month to four years after the first registration. MOT tests will continue to take place every year rather than every 2 years which is the case in many other parts of the EU.