VOSA’s ‘lax approach’ to vehicle recalls is ‘putting lives at risk’: Which? Car

11.10 | 28 April 2011 |

Drivers’ lives are being put at risk by Britain’s approach to car recalls, Which? Car has claimed (Telegraph).

Which? Car has accused the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) of having a far laxer approach to safety than its American counterpart, the National Highway Traffic System Administration (NHTSA). Last year the NHTSA instigated 118 recalls, while – according to Which? Car – none were triggered by VOSA.

Richard Headland, editor of Which? Car, said: "We do think that drivers’ lives are being endangered. VOSA is a toothless organisation that appears to pander to the car industry.

“Which? Car believes it is providing a substandard level of protection to British motorists. In contrast, America’s NHTSA leads the way as an example of how a safety recall organisation should operate.”

Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research, said: "The IAM fully support the Which? Car campaign for a more consumer focused VOSA.

"VOSA must be more proactive in telling drivers about recalls and technical problems arising around the world. It should be also be more involved in investigating complaints from drivers and holding car makers to account."

However, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, which represents the car industry, disputed this, saying: “The VOSA vehicle recall process is one of the most robust in the world delivering an exceptionally high level of response rates compared to other sectors.

“In 2010 alone VOSA worked with vehicle manufacturers on over 300 recalls involving two million vehicles to ensure that motorists can remain confident of the high level of vehicle safety they rightfully expect.

Alex Fiddles, VOSA operations director, added: "Our priority is protecting road users in Britain and our vehicle recall system operates swiftly and effectively, contributing to Britain having some of the safest roads in the world.

"If a manufacturer is unwilling or unable to issue a recall then VOSA would directly inform vehicle owners. However, this has not been necessary as manufacturers have always acted in accordance with the advice we have given."

Click here to read the full Telegraph report.


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