ONE in five cars first registered in 2008 failed their first MoT three years later, a sobering new report has revealed.
Heading the list of shame are cars from French manufacturers Renault, Citroen and Peugeot. Other makes among the biggest failures are Chevrolet and, rather surprisingly, MINI.
Inevitably the best performers were Japanese manufacturers Lexus, Suzuki, Honda and Toyota, although the late, lamented Saab, from Sweden, came in at number four.
The statistics are revealed from an analysis of 24.5 million MoT tests obtained by motoring consumer champion Honest John.
The research involved examining tens of millions of records obtained from the Vehicle Operator and Services Agency (VOSA) through the Government’s OpenData scheme – data that VOSA apparently fought to keep secret for years.
In the year from October 2010, a total of 352,000 cars – one in five – failed their MoT. The most common reasons were lighting and signalling (164,837 failures), followed closely by tyres (96,760 failures), headlight aim (82,555 failures) and issues with the driver’s view of the road (80,605 failures).
European manufacturers are at the bottom of the table for first-test flops. The worst performer, Renault, was followed by the British-built MINI, with Citroen taking third from bottom.
A surprise inclusion in the bottom 10 list, given that their cars are traditionally a byword for durability, is Volvo with more than 5,800 of the Swedish manufacturer’s 26,000 2008-registered cars failing their first MoT.
Broken down by model, the detailed data reveals that the worst performing family car was the Renault Megane, with only 71% of cars registered in 2008 passing their first MoT. The Megane was most likely to fail on lighting and signalling problems, but was also three times more likely to fail on steering faults than the industry average.
The MINI One also performed relatively poorly, with 25% of 2008-registered vehicles failing their first MoT, though primarily for minor faults including lighting and signalling and the driver’s view of the road. The top model was the Suzuki Splash with a 90 per cent pass rate in its first MoT.
Publication of the Honest John MoT Files means consumers will for the first time be able to spot cars’ common failures by make, model, year of registration and postcode based on empirical data.
A spokesman for the website said: “This is information that has been kept from car owners for many years. VOSA even fought to keep it out of public view. It will help consumers make better informed decisions about their next car purchase. Hard-pressed families can take this information and use it to ensure that they’re not failing an MoT on something that can be easily fixed beforehand.
“The report demonstrates that many failure items are down to the owner, rather than inherent fault with the car. Families using the data will be better prepared for their MoTs and be able to keep better control over the cost of motoring.”
The files can be seen in full at http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/good-garages