MOT emissions failure rate doubles under new tougher test

Nearly 750,000 cars have failed their tests since May 20th 2018 compared to 350,472 during the same period last year

By Priyanka Shrestha

The number of cars failing MOT emissions tests has more than doubled since stricter rules were introduced to improve air quality and make roads safer.

Nearly 750,000 cars failed their emissions tests in the six months after the change on May 20th 2018, compared to 350,472 during the same period last year.

The MOT is a once-a-year health check for vehicles in the UK, although drivers are recommended to keep their vehicles safe to drive and “roadworthy” all year round.

According to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), under the new rules, a vehicle gets a “major fault” if the MOT tester: can see smoke of any colour coming from the exhaust and finds evidence the diesel particulate filter – which captures and stores exhaust soot to reduce emissions – has been tampered with.

A major fault means the car must be repaired immediately and it needs to pass the MOT test again.

Figures from DVSA reveal nearly 240,000 diesel cars and more than 505,000 petrol cars have failed the new emissions test.

That’s in comparison to 58,000 diesel cars and more than 292,000 petrol cars during the same period last year.

The number of diesel vans failing has also increased by 448% since May – rising from nearly 3,600 last year to more than 19,600 this year.

DVSA Chief Executive Gareth Llewellyn said: “DVSA’s priority is to protect everyone from unsafe vehicles and drivers. We are committed to making a real difference to those in society whose lives and health are blighted by poor air quality.”

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