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Vehicle Tests

Volume 645: debated on Monday 2 October 1961

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asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware that, in Leicestershire and elsewhere, certificates have recently been given for cars more than 10 years old, which are unsafe for use; and what steps he proposes to take in order to ensure that a more efficient test shall be applied before certificates are granted.

Four cases of this kind in the Leicester area have been reported to my officers and have been thoroughly investigated; for the country as a whole the total is negligible in relation to the number of vehicles tested. Borderline cases are bound to occur, but the safeguards embodied in the scheme have proved themselves adequate to secure a very high degree of efficiency and uniformity.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that an inspector has stated categorically that cars have been passed when their lights, brakes and steering have been efficient even though their chassis have been so rotten as to make the cars completely unsafe? Does he propose to do something definite to make it clear to garages that they must not pass cars of that description?

In that case, which occurred in the Leicester area, we made that clear to the garage concerned.

Has the right hon. Gentleman read the authoritative article in The Times last week in which it was pointed out that a car was turned down by four garages, all for different reasons, and passed by a fifth, which indicates that the examination by the testing garages at the moment is wholly inadequate? What steps is he taking to deal with the matter?

Every single complaint that comes in is investigated. The difficulty about newspaper reports is that details are so vague that they are not enough to permit the carrying out of any investigations.