§ Mrs. Iris Robinson
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to his answer of 30 June 2003,Official Report, column 98W, on MOT tests, what proportion of vehicle test failures were due to brake defects in each year since 2000–01. 
§ Angela Smith
This information is not currently available.
Until recently the records of the Driver and Vehicle Testing Agency of the Department of the Environment were largely manual and it was not practicable to collate information on the causes of test failures.
However, when the programme to re-equip the Agency's test centres with new computerised test equipment is completed, it will be possible to develop management information systems which will provide analyses of test results. The re-equipment programme is scheduled to be completed in September 2003.
There is anecdotal evidence that customers and the motor trade are having difficulty in preparing vehicles for the brake imbalance test. It should be borne in mind, however, that the extent of the imbalance in braking efficiency between two wheels on the same axle that would cause the test to be failed would render the vehicle unroadworthy and constitute a road safety risk.