Japanese cars outpace French in just-released official pass-fail statistics for 3-yr-old carsHow will your car do, come MoT test time? Just released figures show big differences between how makes and models perform. There’s good news if you own a Toyota Corolla. If it’s three years old and just due its first test, there’s a better than nine out of 10 chance that it’ll sail through.
But if you have a Renault Megane – one of the worst performers – there’s close on a one in three chance that it’ll fail. The Peugeot 307 and Vauxhall Corsa were among poor performers, while the Honda Jazz, Civic, the Toyota Yaris and the Ford Fiesta fared well.
Renault defended its car’s poor showing, pointing out that most Meganes start life as company cars and so cover much higher mileages in their early years. Hondas and Toyotas, meanwhile, are in the main purchased new for private use and for that reason rack up fewer miles.
Although the results seem to confirm the accepted view that Japanese manufacturers build better cars than the French, it is also true that most MoT test failures result from faults that are easily corrected – such as a faulty tyre, worn-out wiper blade or blown headlamp bulb.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers confirmed this, saying that a vehicle’s roadworthiness was influenced by how its driver treated it. For that reason, MoT failure did not reliably indicate a car’s quality.
These results came from the Vehicle and Standards Agency (VOSA), after the BBC made a Freedom of Information request. The agency had refused to publish the figures, arguing that they would breach commercial confidentiality. The Information Commissioner overruled their objections.
The figures, although the most recent available, date from 2007 and relate to cars sold as new back in 2004. VOSA will publish figures for 2008 and 2009 later this year.
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