HC Deb 26 April 1972 vol 835 cc1525-6
15. Mrs. Sally Oppenheim

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will direct the working party, which he has set up to review the vehicle testing system, to bring forward proposals to empower testers to dismantle vehicles where there is a reasonable suspicion of a hidden fault.

Mr. Eldon Griffiths

I will certainly ask the working party to look into this point.

Mrs. Oppenheim

Does my hon. Friend agree that as the present methods of testing for corrosion are inadequate, where an examiner has reasonable cause for suspicion he should be required to withhold the MOT certificate pending the dismantling of the car at the owner's expense, to ensure that unsafe cars are excluded both from the roads and from being offered for sale to unsuspecting purchasers? Would not this constitute an important measure of road safety and consumer protection?

Mr. Griffiths

I have a great deal of sympathy with the point made by my hon. Friend. I think she will accept that the tester is concerned only with whether the vehicle is safe to be put on the road, and the best advice he can give to an owner is to take expert advice from his own garage on whether his vehicle is roadworthy.

Mr. Leslie Huckfield

Is it not time that the Minister's Department accepted the Swedish practice of publishing annually a report showing which manufacturers' vehicles are most defective and in what way they are most defective?

Mr. Griffiths

There are many features of Swedish practice from which no doubt we can learn, and there are other features which we can well do without.