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The government agency which runs MOT tests in the UK has finally given in to a BBC request for all the information on which cars were most likely to fail the test in 2007. The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency, an agency of the Ministry of Transport, gave in and released the data yesterday. VOSA originally claimed it could …

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"Interpreted carefully" is true

Is it such a jump to link car nationality to the type of person who buys one? A Japanese owner will have looked for a solid, reliable model whereas an Alfa driver just wants to have fun - and the quality of care that vehicle has had will reflect that.

I for one believe that cars reflect their national stereotype; so Japanese = sensible, Italian = emotional; British = fun with an undercurrent of good engineering (or visa versa; at least once the unions stopped screwing the car industry) while German cars are precise, wonderfully built and beautifully designed machines that have to be to make up for their owners' complete absence of ability behind the wheel...

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Go

The exceptions prove the rule

Like my Japanese 300ZX: 3 litre, twin turbo 2+2. Very sensible.

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Alfa

Alfas are normaly looked after... and shitly built.

If you want to make those genralisations Alfas are owned by car lovers and hondas are owend (i know i know... NSX, CRX, Type-R etc etc...) by people who don't even know how to check the oil.

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Black Helicopters

Commercial confidentiality, or ...

That old wheeze again... I'd like to know *why* VOSA are at all concerned about this - or are they getting a backhander from the manufacturers in some way, and are not really independent?

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Rubbish Data

Have you seen some of the entries? A vauxhall vectra from 1971?

Still, no real surprises, I have had several french cars and apparently still havent learned my lesson.

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FAIL

Seek and ye shall find....

If you look under the data set for each car in the spreadsheet you'll see the footnote:

"* In the DVLA dataset, a Vehicle Year of First Use of 1971 is recorded against Kit Cars and Rebuilds."

So the '1971 Vectra' was probably beaten back into shape after being squished in a crash then re-registered.

The data has to be treated very cautiously because there are so many gaps already noted (car mileage, failed for minor or serious reasons, car maintenance regime etc etc), but it can still be useful if read with these limitations in mind. That said I think the story is more the several years of work it took the BBC hack to prise this information from the tight little fingers of the VOSA!

On a foot note I have a French car also which is up for MOT next month - crosses fingers!

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And...

...suprise suprise, Vans did worst.

Lets see, Toyota Corrola driven by 80 yr old duffer doing 100 miles a year fairs better than a van doing 50K carrying loads of crap and going across building sites.

Shock horror.

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or...

10 year old Toyota Corrola now at well over 150k (and averaged 10k/year for its first 3 years) has failed 1 MOT in its life....build quality does have a BIT to do with it.

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Boffin

Giving in?

VOSA didn't 'give in'. The Information Commissioner told them they had to release the data.

A bit more info would be useful - I've had 3 or 4 MOT failures on 25,000 mile a year Mondeo's and Vectra's due to the indicator bulbs 'showing white'; hardly a sign of a poorly put together car.

<troll>With regards to Alfa, I'd have thought there's a 50:50 chance of getting it to the garage for any given journey anyway! </troll>

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Indicators showing white

That seems to be a favourite right now. That was all that got my Landrover failed. I wonder if there is some target set for number of failures at a test centre... I put brand new lenses on and frankly I couldn't see any difference

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More info needed

Fleet or privately owned, mileage, serious vs minor failures - as well as how many times cars are re-tested (does a fail and the a pass count as one of each, or is it just measuring the first result)

I guess it would be really nice to know how much had been spent on the cars' maintenance as well, but I can't see that appearing my magic.

It's a good start, and after the inevitable back and forth between the manufacturers hopefully we'll be able to get the info in a statistically sound way.

ttfn

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Go

Reasons for failure?

The spreadsheet has four additional columns: "Body and structure", "Brakes", "Driver's view of the road" and "Fuel and exhaust".

Alfa and Renault brakes seem a tad worrisome and Renault drivers also seem to be more at risk than most of not seeing what's going on in front of them. This last, coupled with the aforementioned fact that they probably can't stop when they do belatedly notice imminent pear-shapedness, explains a great deal.

Apparently Rover Metros rust a lot. There are no figures for bearshit location associated with this.

Still looking through this, but the highlight so far has to be "1900" as the year of first use for one in the Ford Fiesta section. It passed too, giving a 100% success rate for Victorian Fiestas. It's been downhill since then.

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Happy

Class comment

>Apparently Rover Metros rust a lot. There are no figures for bearshit location associated with this.

Thanks! I laughed out loud at that.

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renault brakes.

This has been the opposite in my experience, every time I've borrowed one I've nearly gone through the windscreen.

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Happy

That explains it.

Presumably if the brakes are working, the combination of a cracked screen and the generous smearing of blood and hair thereon then fails the MOT for "Driver's view of the road".

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Coat

What a surprise...

French cars are sh*t.

Mines the one with the dummies guide to sarcasm in the pocket.

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Happy

Ah, stats

In the right hands, they can tell the wrong story. And sometimes you compare apples and oranges and end up with bananas!

For instance, in that chart my MG TF has a similar failure rate to the Skoda Octavia...

However, TFs bought new were generally used as a second car, a plaything for weekends, doing a maybe 3K miles a year but whilst pushing on through country lanes. Whereas Skoda Octavias bought new are generally used as taxis doing anything up to 100K miles a year, driven slowly. So it's apples and oranges - high mileage, regular use and careful driving vs low mileage, irregular use and thrapping round country lanes.

Still, I'd rather be broken down at the side of the road looking stylish, than driving a Skoda :-)

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WTF?

looking stylish are you...

"looking stylish" in an mg tf !!!???

welcome to 1994 son, now go and have a look at an octavia vrs, basically a golf gti.

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FAIL

Strange....

....as I wouldn't. The Octavia or Fabia VRS both look & go 100% better than any MG TF - and most car mags & 'experts' would agree!

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Pint

Taxis...

driven carefully and slowly? I'll have a pint of whatever you've been drinking!

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FAIL

Pointless data

"the data does not include why the car or van failed"

Yes it does. If you download the PDF it lists each year for each model, with number of failures by category. And most of the categories (and, more importantly, those with far and away the most failures) are consumables and brand-independent things such as tyres, brakes, lighting and windscreen.

At best you could infer some vague brand-related statistics from bodywork and emissions failures, but that's about it. It tells you more about what cars people are likely to buy if they're stupid enough to turn up to an MOT with bald tyres, popped headlamps and broken windscreens.

The figures are almost totally meaningless, not of course that it matters when it comes to column inches.

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Anonymous Coward

At least they turn up for an MOT

"It tells you more about what cars people are likely to buy if they're stupid enough to turn up to an MOT with bald tyres, popped headlamps and broken windscreens."

My worries are about the ones who don't bother because tax, insurance and MOT don't even cross their radar.

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FAIL

Double post - eggface.

...and if you scroll right there are rather more then four failure reason columns, encompassing things like lights, suspension and such too.

I can haz Fail?

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Spot on

"VOSA said MOT failure rates: "do not necessarily reflect on the ‘reliability or longevity’ of the particular make and model of car concerned – and very often say more about the owner and the way the car has been used and maintained.""

Hmm, political talk, here. It does say a lot as most owners won't waste their investment due to no servicing, right ?

And by the way, it's totally in line with what I've seen over the years and in cars forums:

- Peugeot 307: You realise after 50 000 km the price you paid it is in fact a tiny portion of the total cost. Gear boxes can die at 80 000 Km under normal usage, large parts of the body will fall off unexpectedly, plus the famous recurring clutch problems etc ... Possibly the worst reliability record in Peugeot's history, largely accountable for the problems the firm is through. Gone is the longevity of the 205 ... Better rent such a car ...

- Renault Megane: A lot better than begginning of the last decade, when engine accessory belt would snap and take with it the timing belt (geez, have they heard of timing belt protection ?) but still many issues, in pure Renault style: windscreen joints problems, brakes problems, tires wearing out at mad speed, ...

- Toyota Corolla: you can have problems with it, but very rarely withour jumping off a cliff. Unbreakable. I drive one from time to time as a replacement in the garage. Has been the same for years. Is probably 350 000 km now ... Still driving solid.

As for pre-1999 Alfa Romeo, I'd like to say any statistics here are inaccurate. There are how many of them still able to drive ? 100 ? 80 ? Rust have burnt them since long :-)

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Wrong

"Hmm, political talk, here. It does say a lot as most owners won't waste their investment due to no servicing, right ?"

Er, no. You'd be surprised at how people maintain their vehicles. New ones get serviced for the first 3 years as it's a warranty requirement so the first MOT required after vehicle is 3 years old will generally get passed. Then on in it's anyone's guess as "servicing is a rip-off", "modern vehicles don't need it that regular" etc etc etc. People buy their vehicle then don't want any additional cost.

Dad's a mechanic and I've witnessed this shit countless times first hand. The old "I took it in myself and thought it would pass no problems" despite bald tyres, inefficient brakes etc.

Never underestimate the crass stupidity and penny pinching of the general public.

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Flame

Really

French cars are shit, that's not really news as lets face it even the French seem to set them on fire with alarming frequency they are that bad (or is it the dodgy Renault electrics which cause it)

"Fire" as well lets face it I am sure a French car started it.

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Grenade

French cars?

What IS a French car these days?

Toyota Aygo and Citroen C1 are both made in the same factory.

PSA Group diesel engines, are used in the Ford Cmax

Renault engines used to be used in Volvos

29% of Valeo's business is with German car manufacturers Valeo is France's biggest automotive components manufacturer (especially electrics)

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Valeo? French electrics? Aha!

That would handily explain why in recent years' new car reliability stats from warranty claims, German cars are looking terribly shabby.

Latest one was on the subject of 4x4s where the bottom three were (from the bottom) the Audi A6 Allroad, the VW Toureg and the BMW X5. All handily beaten by the legendary Chrysler reliability of the Jeep Cherokee and there ain't much more FAIL to be had than that.

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FAIL

Context?

This info is, essentially, worthless other than for some pub chatter.

If a car fails on ANY of the following:

Tyres, Lighting where a bulb has blown, road wheels, driver view, a corroded exhaust on a vehicle more than 5 years old, signalling where a bulb has gone, reg plates, suspension on older cars.

Then how can it be a reflection of the car's reliability?

I could have a nearly new Toyota which would fail with bald tyres, a worn wiper, and a few blown bulbs, none of which are an indication of a vehicle's reliability, or pass with a 1964 AC Cobra, which has a 50% failure rate according to this report, because the driver has taken the care to ensure the vehicle is roadworthy.

Statistics fail

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BBC Request?

Was this from a Mr J. Clarkson? (Associates R. Hammond and J. May?)

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Not surprised

...to see the Renault Megane up top, biggest pile of misery i've ever owned!

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Misery?

You want to try a RS225 Cup or the new RS250 Cup - far from miserable my lad....;)

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Erm

It was a good car - when it actually worked! And I loved the styling. Unfortunately, it was a total drain on my finances as problem after problem cropped up, and every time I went out in it, I was awaiting the next issue. Two years I put up with that feeling!

I wish you luck with yours, but your fail should be directed at Renault for releasing such a bugged car - they may have sorted out some of these flaws in later revisions of the Megane, but they have lost my custom. So there.

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Happy

Renault Sport motors....

....are usually a lot better put-together than bog-stock Renaults. My grandfather had a Ph 1 54-plate Megane and had many problems, as alluded to earlier my Ph 2 08-plate RS225 Cup is spot-on and great fun to boot.

As with most motors, buying one of the 'initial batch' can lead to more problems than most. Main reason I'll stay away from the RS250 for at least 18 months!

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IT Angle

Is it just me

Or is there no angle at all?

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Yes there is...

Cars = Technology for a lot of us.

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Angle

Information released due to Freedom of Information Act request?

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Grenade

@ Tim Croydon

"I've had 3 or 4 MOT failures on 25,000 mile a year Mondeo's and Vectra's due to the indicator bulbs 'showing white'; hardly a sign of a poorly put together car."

Ummm yes it is, if the manufacturer can't even select a non-bleaching piece of plastic for an indicator lens it says a lot to me about how well the car is put together in general.

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Might not be the lens at fault though...

The last MOT my Omega had, it failed on this because the tinted coating on the *bulb* had faded - the car itself, as with so many others these days, had untinted lenses over the indicator in question. So I don't see how Vauxhall could be to blame there, given that the bulb in question wasn't one of the originals fitted to the car by them, but rather a supposedly fully compatible replacement I'd bought a couple of years prior to that MOT...

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Not the lens

They're clear lenses. It's the film on the bulbs themselves that peels after a couple of years use.

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Troll

@ AC 16:01 GMT

"I'd like to know *why* VOSA are at all concerned about this"

Because the data shows that corporate products aren't perfect. This is part of the contemporary wheeze that no criticism can be tolerated, none at all, ever. It's the same wheeze that means, whenever government does something stupid, spokesmen deny up one side and down the other that anything's wrong in any way. Or else they claim it was intentional and in the victims' best interest.

Also why ministers of the Crown lie endlessly because they too can't stand even the smallest amount of valid criticism.

Of course, this attitude is patently ridiculous. I'm only human, you're only human, even our Divine Moderatrix is only human, and all of us make mistakes with some regularity. But corporate and political bigwigs have such an inflated sense of their own importance that they want to be like Christ and His mother, sinless. There's a word for people like that: silly assholes.

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@Jimmy Floyd

.. and French cars are bought by whom?

Cheese eating surrender monkies?

People with poor personal hygiene and bad breath?

People with poor taste in car looks and too many little rug rats to drag around (renault scenic shite).

.... stop me when the stereotypes get offensive.

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you forgot...

Women. My wife insisted we bought a peugeot.....and all i could afford after that for me was a rover. It isnt always about choice, its about not being able to afford any other choice.

I hate cars now.

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Unhappy

Surprised? Moi? Mais non!

Every time I have the misfortune to suffer a French car (usually rentals) I am left wondering how Renault, Citroen and Puegeot have managed to stay in business against the Japanese. Especially Citroen. With a few exceptions, they are usually rubbish, and poorly assembled rubbish at that. Even the few good designs are crippled by appalling build quality and servicing that seems more designed to hope you will last to the next service, rather than making your car fit for use. I can't work out whether it's just because the French sell them so cheaply or whether the UK car buyers are somehow fooling themselves that buying a European car is better than buying an Asian one.

The only French car I've owned was a 205GTi, bought to replace my Fiat Supermirafiori. The Fiat was the supercharged Abath version (nobody remembers that Fiat won three World Rally Championships with the 131), was seriously quick, but was looked on as "unsuitable" as a company car. The Pug was supposedly quicker but also "respectable". Unamusingly, the Pug proved slower, less fun and much less reliable than the than the Fiat, something that should have been impossible! Nowadays the 131 is a forgotten car, whereas I can find no end of "experts" down the pub who tell me the 205 was the dog's danglies.

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Anonymous Coward

Transits?

Why are you "being fair" to the transit and it's smaller sibling? Yes sure vans are likely to do higher mileage than cars, but your "fair" reasoning ignores the fact that they still fail more often than other brands of van.

Actually one interpretation of the figures is that it shows you what vehicles are likely to be bought by people who are very bad at maintenance. Sure there's a high likelyhood that a newish transit will be a well maintained fleet vehicle, but once it's sold used there's a good chance that it will be run by a tradesman for whom regular maintenance means topping up the washer bottle.

You really need to look into that lovely BBC spreadsheet to see what's going on. One thing that does stand out, however, is how well Toyota perform. See, all those taxi drivers can't be wrong.

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Pun-intentional

I just want to know if the pun in the last sentence was intended. Surely it must have been: "There is a breakdown of the most popular models here."

John

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A question from the colonies

What is the "driver's view of the road" test and how can the vehicle fail it?

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Driver's view

This is a convoluted way of saying that the windscreen has a chip or crack so placed as to interfere with the driver's vision. Sometimes you need to replace the windscreen to pass, but there are methods of injecting a fluid into minor faults that sets and restores the visibility. A service that repairs these chips is currently being advertised on television in the UK.

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Headmaster

This describes it better than I can

Basically the windscreen is split into zones, and there is a limit on the size of the defects depending on the zone they are in. Basically a smaller defect is tolerated in front of the driver, than off to the side where the driver is less likely to look

http://www.ukmot.com/6-1.asp

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Anonymous Coward

Citroen

I am not a fan of French engineering, but if you buy cheaply enough most of the dafter ideas will have been omitted from the design. My 15 year old Citroen diesel cost me $600 three years ago. I have bought a couple of tyres for it since, and wiper blades and bulbs, and once I changed the oil. It always passes the MOT second time. That was the most efficient way of getting through, as my garage didn't charge for the retest. Unfortunately, they have started to do so, so I will have to sort the faults ahead of time now. Or turn it in on a new car for three times what I paid for it in scrappage. I'd rather keep it as long as it works. I run it mostly on vegetable oil, tax and insurance are cheap, and it drives well on the snow encrusted back roads where I live.

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