Even Most Popular Cars Have a 1 in 5 Chance of Failing Their First MOT.
This should be something that’s really boring, but its not, it’s actually really interesting, so take a moment to read and see how your car compares to others and if, by any chance you love statistics, well you are going to be on cloud 9.
VOSA are responsible for MOT tests in the UK and for the first time ever, it has released loads of information from its MOT records, dating back as far as 1980, telling us the average pass rates for each year and details of failures by make, model and mileage. Interestingly, its been claimed that VOSA actually fought against releasing this data to the public, although we cant understand why, but the figures make interesting reading and here is a brief run-down of things that caught our eye.
The figures however, don’t necessarily suggest that one car is any less reliable than another, because as we all know, cars need to be looked after and maintained properly, but who knows, there might be a tendency of owners of some makes to take care of them more than owners of other makes.
Starting bang up to date, (and for the VOSA figures that means vehicles registered in 2008 – so 2011 for the first MOT), average figures for passing the test run at 79.9% so that means around 20% fail and whilst that might not seem high, on the basis that over 1.76 million tests took place, it means that on the day before they were tested, around 350,000 cars were running around that the MOT test regulations say shouldn’t be on the road.
Highest pass rate was 92.7% and “unsurprisingly” related to the 82 Rolls Royce Phantoms that were tested during the year. The 65 Lamborghini Gallardo’s chipped in just behind the roller at 92.3% and were followed by the footballer’s special, Bentley Continental which achieved 91.3% over the 446 tested. A couple of Aston Martins also took over 90%. Big favourite the Ford Mondeo, delivered a 76.6% pass rate over the 34,899 cars tested, whilst the Vauxhall Insignia faired a bit better at 82.57% but only 57 of them were tested. Mondeo, it seems is pretty close to the average pass rate, but cars you would expect to be pretty cool and to walk through the MOT, like the BMW X3, Volvo XC90 and the much heralded and praised Jaguar XF were all firmly beaten by the fleets favourite the Mondeo which “out-passed” them all.
The worst manufacturers for first time MOT fails were amongst the Euro car builders with Renault being flat last, followed by the good old British built Mini’s and back to France for Citroen. Considered as safe and well built, but Swedish car maker Volvo saw 5,800 of its 26,000 new cars sold in the UK in 2008 drop out at the first MOT.
Stateside cars didn’t let us down either, delivering five of the worst performing models, with the poor mans Bentley the “Chrysler 300C” seeing 38% of its cars fail first time through, whilst its buddy the Jeep Patriot saw 36% first time fails, the Dodge Caliber a bit better with just 33% first time fails whilst staying in the Dodge camp, 29% of “Nitro’s” failed at the first hurdle.
OK, you knew it, the best performers were Japanese, with Lexus at the top, Suzuki and Honda next and surprisingly, and coming in 4th and just out of the medals was now defunct Swedish car maker Saab. As for models, the Suzuki Splash saw a tiny 10% failure rate whilst the stupidly name Suzuki Jimny sat alongside the Audi TT and the Porsche Boxster at just 11% failure rate. Lexus saw the IS just fail 12% of the time.
As for reasons to why your car is likely to fail its MOT, well the most common causes are “lighting & signaling”, which accounts for a massive 19.8% of all failures. “Suspension” comes in second accounting for 13.2% of failures. Third is I guess one of the most obvious and that’s “brakes” with 11.5% fails. Fourth is an odd one and one that seems to be quite new and should be an easy one to fix and that’s “driver’s view of the road” and that makes up 8.2%. Fifth and another easy fix is “tyres” which cause 8.7% of failures. “Fuel and exhaust” takes 6th spot with 5.8%. “Seat belts” strangely account for 1.7% of failures, “body & structure” just 1.3%, whilst “registration plate or VIN errors” take the final 1.1%. Having said all that, I guess in many cases, cars are failing for more than one of these reasons, but it shows that cars are more solid, as structural issues that require welding are really low, whilst the main reason for failures which are lighting and signaling are cheap fixes caused by things such as bulbs going.
An really in depth report on the VOSA disclosures can be found onwww.honestjohn.co.uk