back to article French top MOT failure league

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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  1. Jimmy Floyd
    Thumb Up

    "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...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    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?

  3. SuperTim

    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.

    1. Brutus
      Go

      The exceptions prove the rule

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

    2. Paul 4

      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.

    3. paulf Silver badge
      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!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    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.

  5. Tim Croydon
    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>

  6. Paul_Murphy

    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

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      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

    2. david bates

      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.

  7. TeeCee Gold badge
    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.

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      renault brakes.

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

      1. TeeCee Gold badge
        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".

  9. Adam 10
    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 :-)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

    2. richard 69
      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.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      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!

    4. Shades
      Pint

      Taxis...

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

  11. TeeCee Gold badge
    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?

  12. regadpellagru
    Thumb Up

    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 :-)

  13. P.Nutt
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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)

      1. TeeCee Gold badge
        Thumb Down

        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.

    2. Mark 65

      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.

  14. fifi
    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

  15. Greg J Preece

    BBC Request?

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

  16. james newcombe
    Go

    Not surprised

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

  17. gougher
    IT Angle

    Is it just me

    Or is there no angle at all?

    1. Will Leamon
      Thumb Down

      Yes there is...

      Cars = Technology for a lot of us.

    2. Apocalypse Later

      Angle

      Information released due to Freedom of Information Act request?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Misery?

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

      1. jnewco81

        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.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          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!

  18. Kebabster
    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.

  19. RW
    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.

    1. ChrisC

      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...

    2. Tim Croydon

      Not the lens

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

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @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.

  21. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    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.

    1. SuperTim

      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.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  23. John H. Maw

    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

  24. Dick

    A question from the colonies

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

  25. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Apocalypse Later

      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.

    2. SirTainleyBarking
      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

    3. Lunatik
      Headmaster

      Retests are free...

      ..or at least they are if you leave your car with them to have it fixed, or return the next day in certain circumstances.

      http://bit.ly/8w43bC

      Someone may be being a bit naughty...

  26. ClammyLammy

    Meh

    Last MOT I needed I did a little early seeing as I needed to get the front tyres replaced anyway. The mechanic said "We'll do the MOT first just in case, it doesn't make much difference as the re-test is free". Sure enough it failed on the front tyres which I knew about all along.

    Knock up one failure which bears no relation to the reliability of the car or the diligence of the owner. If there's one like that then I'd imagine there'll be others.

    Clam.

  27. Anonymous Bosch

    Failed Brakes -67 VW Beetles and others

    Not from UK so can someone explain 28 failures with 36 due to brakes?

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MOT fail??

    I'm amazed. In Britain, if there's a small mark on the windscreen caused by Fred Flintstone the car will fail its MOT. Yet I travelled on a bus in Oulu today with two huge cracks on the screen straight across the drivers' viewpoint.

    Astoundingly (think of the children, there were several on board) we didn't crash, fall off a cliff - there aint any here - and the bus will be certified safe at the next 'MOT'. They'll replace the screen in a year or so.

    After another quarter of a million miles.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Megaphone

    Maintenance is not always the key

    I run a car owners club and we have owners who look after their cars well, yet still manage to do high mileage each year and pass their MOT's first time.

    I know these vehicles inside out, and it's all about the build quality. These were only made 91- 97 and even 91 models are still mostly free from rust and major issues. .. and they're Japanese... Mazda to be exact... with the exception of Toyota, Mazda make the most reliable cars I have ever experienced... and their build quality is very, very high... and before anyone tries to make the mistake of claiming Mazda are owned by Ford (Ford only have a 31% stake), I'd like to point out that the majority of decent ford cars out there (in the last 20yrs) have been based on Mazda designed platforms and engines... and when you compare the identical US built Mazda (built alongside Fords at a Ford plant) with a Japanese built Mazda... the Japanese built ones are far superior.

    Quality build is the key, then proper maintenance... which is why my little coupe is still in great condition and drives like the day it left the factory.

    If you want quality, buy Japanese, if want reliability but Japanese... if you want the illusion of quality and reliability but it's more important to own the badge the the car it's fitted to... buy German. If you don't give a crap about what car you own, or what damage you usually do to other drivers on the roads due to your inability to drive properly... anything else will do. :)

    1. Mark 65

      Are you taking the p1ss?

      "If you want quality, buy Japanese, if want reliability but Japanese... if you want the illusion of quality and reliability but it's more important to own the badge the the car it's fitted to... buy German."

      You're kidding right? Jap cars with their crappy cheap plastic switch gear and fisher price dashboards? No way pedro. There's a damn good reason taxi drivers across the continent use mercedes as cabs - it's because they'll go round the clock twice before their scrap. Try doing that in a Jap crap, you'll have replaced so many components in that time it'll be 3 new cars.

      1. markp 1
        Stop

        dunno, man...

        There's gotta be a reason that probably 7 out of 10 minicabs I've seen in Britain are the otherwise excerable Toyota Corolla and Avenis and their variants, and probably another 2-2.5 variations on the jap theme - Nissa Primeras, Honda Accords and even the odd Prius, with the final 5-10% being any old random banger signifying that your journey comes courtesy of a truly hard-up cabbie who had to take whatever was available and you should probably up your tip, if you reach your destination successfully.

        Those guys aren't drive such stultifyingly awful cars for their dynamic feel, performance, or even so much the comfort and economy. The only reason I can think of is that, like the apocyphal Honda moped whose oil was found to have turned to black jelly at the scrapyard (after the owner rode it in with a terminally rusty frame) after decades of inadequate servicing, they just run, and run, and run, and nothing important ever really breaks.

        I hate to post even a mild defence of the hateful midsize Toyota saloons, particularly as something in them seems to have a bad effect on many of their (cabbie or otherwise) drivers' brains centred on the "ability to drive safely" lobe, but the evidence of our streets crawling with the buggers is a powerful argument. There are very, very few taxis of german manufacture in Britain, or indeed so far as I've seen anywhere other than Germany and (wierdly) Spain & Greece - maybe the Germans get tax breaks for buying domestic, and the spanish & greeks... well, perhaps they're just mental? ;-)

    2. Danny 14 Silver badge

      mazda eh?

      Like the mondeo which is high in the list? The list is useless as obvioulsy thrashed reps cars will fail the minute they need MOTs

  30. Alain Moran
    WTF?

    Morris Minors

    OK, so where is the data on morris minors ... I know of at least one minor that failed it's mot in 2007 for brakes and structural problems (which it later passed) ... her name is masie and I driver her to this day :D

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    reporter fail

    I love the way you leave out the top failures because 'we think this is fair'

    Don't let facts stand in the way of Frog bashing!

  32. Tim Schomer
    Boffin

    Last car I had

    Was a Vectra (estate 1.8 petrol) which I sold it in full runnning order with 207000 on the clock and the last MOT cost me the princely sm of £65 because I had the spare tyre on in place of an alloy. I usually take advantage of the car being in the garage to get those incedental issues taken care of ("I think the front tyres are getting low, could you change them before the MOT"....) Our local garage is usually pretty sensible about such things. I got collared on the spare wheel 'cos I was away on holiday at the time and they couldn't contact me.

    My betting is that a large proportion of these 'failures' are down to the owners not knowing WHAT was an MOT failure (dodgy wiper blades or not bothering to check the bulbs) - REAL failures are what I would describe as problems that would make the car/van unsafe to drive. I think there are classifications on the test that distinguish these (minor, substantial or major). A decent breakdown of these would be a much better indication of whether the state of the vehicles s down to minor neglect (bulb out) or more serious matters (bralke system failure being one that springs to mind).

    The MOT test was originally brought in to stop dangerous vehicles from being allowed on the road, and this is right. What is required more now is motorists that know/understand/care a little more about the workings of the vehicles they are driving. Would anyone you know drive a vehicle they knew was in a dangerus condition? Would anyone you know drive a vehicle which 'had a bit of a funny noise coming from the back' or ' didn't seem to stop as well as it used to'. I'm sure you all know someone that falls into the latter cateory but seldom anyone that falls into the first, although the two can very often be the same vehicle.

    Modern vehicles have fallen into the trap of often being 'too reliable' - with their owners not being capable of noticing when something serious is going wrong with them as the vehicle is overcoming most of the symptoms itself ("being safe"). This is manefesting itself as a tendancy of more and more motorists to not bother to check the basics (tyres, brakes, fluids etc...) which in earlier models were part of the motorists life, hence more failures for 'minor' problems.

    The solution? I leave that question open for discussion, but I don't think there's going to be an easy one.

  33. MJI Silver badge
    Flame

    Fail then pass

    My car usually fails then gets an advisory, this way the MOT tester can get his share of fails and avoid the wrath of VOSA for not failing enough.

    Most of the cars he MOTs are serviced first so should not fail.

    Mine is DIY maintained and had advisories on the items I told him I was expecting to have problems with.

    Only problem is that it is VERY cold and I need to fix an exhaust blow (loose nuts on the left banl downpipe).

    Fire to keep me warm while I prepare for the MOT.

    Oh ChrisC - next MOT it will be wishbone bushes!!!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Fail then Pass

      It's not clear from the spreadsheet if Fail-Retest_Pass is counted as F/P or both. And the BBC spreadsheet only lists the common models so no sign of my Renault Twingo. I combine MOT with annual service, do the MOT first. 1994 model so come the day there is a big item to repair I wont bother with the service and scrap it.

  34. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Are you taking the p1ss?

    My experience suggests otherwise. I had a Vitara for a year or so - it was about 15 years old when I got it and nothing ever went wrong with it, it was as solid as anything. It only failed its MOT on rust. It was a brilliant and totally reliable car.

    So ner. Oh and less of the hysterical semi-racism, please. What is it about the internet that makes everyone so angry?

  35. Valerion

    Not a reliability indicator

    Most failures are for:

    Drivers View Of Road (could be anything from a badly placed tax disk, a sat-nav bracket or a windscreen chip)

    Brakes (usually brake pads have worn down)

    Tyres (have worn down)

    These have nothing to do with reliability.

    1. Mark 65

      Hysterical semi-racism?

      What have you been smoking? "No way Pedro" is an oft used phrase on only fools and horses in light of "No way Jose" which isn't racist - it just rhymes. Jose could be a white Anglo-Saxon fine upstanding Labour politician who's never claimed expenses for all you know. How could you be semi-racist to an AC with no indication of race anyhow?

      Whilst we're on the cars though, your experience of a 15 year old Suzuki disproves the point I made about crappy plastic dashboards and Mercedes popularity as continental taxis with the ability to lap the clock twice how exactly? The fact that it didn't fall on it's arse proves only that.

      1. Carl Williams

        How much experience do you have with german Taxi's?

        They engines may last a long time but the build quality of recent Mercedes is terrible and in fact worse than so called 'Jap Crap'. I have a friend who is an MOT tester, used to do recovery work and worked for Mazda at one point. When asked what he would recommend if you want something reliable he would say Japanese, he recovered less Japanese but nearly as many BMWs, VW's, Audis and Mercs as he did French cars. That's 15 years experience talking.

        From personal experience my Merc had terrible reliability with a list of known faults that was frightening, including ECU's that failed, Steering Racks that wore prematurely, Gearboxes that failed, failing suspension springs and failing suspension bushes all failing at under 60k, it experienced all these faults apart from the gearbox. My current Honda does have anything that I am aware of and at 70k and 11 years old it has only needed tyres, brakes and a battery in the 50k I have driven it for.

  36. TeeCee Gold badge

    Sick Transit? Failure Monday.

    Some years back I used to do multidrop deliveries in a variety of things, including the ubiquitous Transit.

    The attitude to maintenance where I worked was to do the minimum required servicing and change the odd tyre. Then once a year they'd take 'em in for an MOT, each vehicle would invariably fail and that would tell 'em what else needed doing urgently*. Since the Transit is damned nearly unbreakable, presumably those stats merely indicate that this is still common practice in the cheapskate world of commercial vehicle fleet ownership.

    It's difficult to describe something that can take on a brick wall and win as a "death trap", but I believe that's the correct term.

    *Usually exactly what the driver had been telling them for quite some time anyway.

  37. Tom Smith 1 Silver badge
    FAIL

    Incomplete data

    I'm pretty sure there's data missing from the spread sheet.

    Eg Peugeot 205: in

    1995 - 2770 passes and 2774 fails

    1996 1105 and 1020

    1997 4 and 1

    so over two years over 2000 cars were scrapped? I'm pretty sure there's more than 5 205's still going in Bristol, let alone the UK...

    1. Andy Mc

      Re: Incomplete data

      Erm, reading fail. All the tests shown are from one year 2007. The years you're reading are the date of manufacture.....

      And as for "Failed Brakes -67 VW Beetles and others", the numbers include advisories as well as fails. Again, try reading.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The Peugeot 205.

      There is definitely at least one driving around up here in sunny Manc, it's a well-known 'pool' car for local scumbags so in all likelyhood doesn't have a MOT....or VED....or insurance etc....

  38. Hatan Skaaf
    Boffin

    @Tom Smith - Incomplete Data

    Tom, I think you misunderstood the year marker - it's the year of first use, not the number of cars MOTd in that year. So there were some 5544 '95-reg 205s, 2125 '96-reg ones and a handful of '97-reg ones that garages had sold in the January to clear stock because the 206 had come out to replace it.

    Just my $0.02,

    H.

  39. Hatan Skaaf
    Coat

    Fleet and Commercial vehicles

    Just a thought - compare the so-called reliability of the Ford Fusion (car) and Ford Transit Connect (small commercial van) - both effectively the same vehicle. The Fusion has a failure rate of about 16%, because most are owned by elderly gents who check the oil and water daily and keep them garaged. The Transit Connect (failure rate 30%) is driven by electricians, plumbers and plasterers...

  40. markp 1

    Interesting. I must have one of the good 'uns... touch wood.

    ...and I am touching an enormous plank of something that at least pretends to be wood right now.

    Got a late 99/early 2000 (even the DVLA is unsure) Megane, bought as a hurried replacement for a written-off (and similarly brick-sh*thouse-esque) Astra - I was a beggar and as such couldn't afford to be too choosy. Needed something with a similar level of performance, space, and options, and it was one of a few available cars in early january that fit the bill. And in fact I lucked out - paid a grand (of which £250 was excess), and got something with additional toys to my old barge, and a serious case of Chillis Up The Backside which I only discovered after buying it (the low down torque is still alright... but it really comes alive at the top end!)

    Given the Meg's awful rep, this one must have been a mid-morning tuesday job, because thus far - after 53 weeks - it's been fine, even after someone caved in the front left wing. Following that, and some bastard breaking in thru the side window.... without any repairs being done save swapping the buckled alloy for the fullsize steel spare and touching up the paint.... and maintenance extending to the odd wash and a DIY oil 'n' filters change after the first couple thousand miles, I've had no trouble. Sailed through its MOT in november barely touching the sides - got an advisory for the "mismatched" wheel of all things. As it's now fully worked off the asking price with massive interest on top, I think I may treat it to a cambelt change and proper 80k mile service (at 84000ish)....

    * cue cambelt snapping on the way home :-p *

    OK, not everything's perfect, the air recirculation flap suffers a common, noisy fault, the radio reception is bobbins, there's clearly a worn bearing and/or lack of effective low-temperature lubrication on the gearbox input shaft as it honks like a stabbed goose if you try to start in 2nd from cold (doing that a lot in this weather), a couple times the airbag circuit threw a fault on the ECU during the worst of the weather, there's a filled chip in the screen, the brakes do have an occasional suggestion of "oh, you wanted to stop did you? hmmmm I'll think about it ..... oh wait only kidding", and the bulbs blow with alarming regularity (since the cold set in I've lost a headlamp and a tail lamp that I couldn't be arsed to sort until the thaw started - so that's a task for the weekend)................

    ......... but given the absolute ball ache that was my first car - a VW Polo - I'm prepared to overlook all that. Stuff kept literally falling off that (though to it's credit I was never absolutely stranded... having to crawl home at 15mph is still better than being stopped), and out of 3 years of MOTing I think it passed first time ONCE. Between it and the Beemers & Mercs my dad had during a flush period (and gave up on well before getting poor again), Polos owned by friends and my ma's Fabia, the rep of german makes is well dented in my mind.

    Mind you these stats can be decieving. 28% or whatever failing still means that more than 2/3rds are making it through - first time. Which is a pretty good rate when you consider the age, how cars are treated, and the innumerate things you can fail for. Sort of like panning the guy who comes 20th in a Grand Prix, until you realise he's only a few TENTHS of a second slower per lap than the winner, AND didn't crash out...

    Japanese? Meh. Give us the french and anglo-american-germanic-hybrid stuff any day.

    BTW, I haven't given it a good read yet, how did the Fords do? I'm predicting epic fail for final-generation Escorts (of the age of my unburstable Vaux ;)

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