UK drivers cover an estimated 216m miles a year without an MOT

A study of more than 2,000 drivers by company car insurance firm Direct Line for Business found that almost a fifth had “accidentally” driven their car …

British motorists drive an estimated 216 million miles a year in vehicles that do not have a valid MOT, according to new research.

More on the MOT test:

A study of more than 2,000 drivers by company car insurance firm Direct Line for Business found that almost a fifth had “accidentally” driven their car for at least a week after the MOT certificate had expired in the past five years. Even more worryingly, eight percent confessed to having driven without a valid MOT certificate for more than six months.

Rusted car a definite MOT fail in the UK

Of those who accidentally drove without a valid MOT for a week, almost half (45 percent) said they only drove once, but eight percent admitted to driving five or more times. Assuming the average motorist drives 21.6 miles every day, Direct Line says this means Brits could have covered as many as 216 million miles each year without a valid MOT certificate.

MOT certificates are a legal requirement for all cars used on the public road, unless they are electric goods vehicles registered before March 1, 2015, tractors or some classic cars first registered more than 40 years ago. Driving a vehicle that needs an MOT but does not have one is punishable by a fine of up to £1,000.

Mechanic inspecting car with torch

The MOT test involves checking over key vehicle components and ensuring the car is safe to be used on the road. Any faults will fall into one of four categories, ranging from ‘dangerous’ to ‘advisory’, via ‘major’ and ‘minor’. Vehicles with dangerous or major faults will fail, while minor and advisory faults will be noted down and should be monitored and fixed if necessary.

According to Direct Line for Business’ study, men are more likely than women to have driven without a valid MOT, with 20 percent of men claiming to have forgotten the test compared with 15 percent of women. Meanwhile those aged 18-34 are much more likely to forget than 35-54-year olds or 55-year olds, of whom just nine percent admitted to having driven without an MOT.

Halfords Autocentre MOT Service and Tyres centre in Basingstoke UK

Regionally, a third (32 percent) of Londoners admitted to driving without a valid MOT for a week, while 25 percent of drivers in the North East confessed to the same offence. Rounding out the top four were the North West (20 percent) and Yorkshire (19 percent).

Matt Boatwright, head of Direct Line for Business, said: “Keeping a vehicle roadworthy is a legal requirement and essential from a safety perspective for both the person driving and others on the road. We understand that having to turn down work because your van is in the garage can be frustrating, however not having a valid MOT could result in a hefty fine and in some cases lead to you losing your licence.”

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How Many Uber and Lyft Drivers Are in Recalled Cars?

That’s why the consumer advocacy group the Center for Auto Safety Tuesday sent letters to Uber, Lyft, Via, and Juno, urging them to take steps to keep …

The average car includes some 30,000 parts, and that leaves a lot of room for things to go wrong. Seatbacks that fold unexpectedly in 20 BMWs. Overpromising fuel gauges on 21,915 Alfa Romeos. Possible loss of steering in 595 Toyota minivans. And that’s just from this week’s batch of recalls issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Alex Davies covers autonomous vehicles and other transportation machines for WIRED.

Recalls are a pretty straightforward business: When NHTSA or an automaker discovers a problem with a particular model, the automaker sends a letter to every registered owner informing them of the issue and telling them how they can get it fixed, for free. (Automakers often voluntarily initiate the process.) The procedure, though, isn’t especially effective, partly because it’s hard to deliver recall notices once a car has changed hands. For recalls issued between 2012 and 2016, just 58.4 percent of vehicles were fixed, according to a 2018 NHTSA report. Given recent massive recalls of GM cars with faulty ignition switches and many more with Takata airbags, that adds up to some 70 million unrepaired cars in the US, according to the Consumer Federation of America. (If you’re now wondering about your car, you can punch the vehicle identification number into NHTSA’s website to check.)

You could shrug this off with a spiel about personal responsibility, but safety advocates say that’s not acceptable for cars being used by ride-hail drivers, whose passengers have no way of knowing they’re climbing into a potentially unsafe vehicle. That’s why the consumer advocacy group the Center for Auto Safety Tuesday sent letters to Uber, Lyft, Via, and Juno, urging them to take steps to keep cars with unaddressed recalls off their platforms. “At a minimum, Uber should give its customers the choice of whether to ride in a recalled vehicle at the time a driver is assigned,” the group’s executive director, Jason Levine, wrote in the letter to Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.

The Center for Auto Safety’s campaign is drafting off a May investigation by Consumer Reports, which found that of 94,000 Uber and Lyft vehicles in New York City and Seattle, one in six had open recalls. As CR notes, many of those problems are relatively innocuous, like brake lights that randomly illuminate. But at least as many pose a real risk.

“We find that to be ridiculous,” Levine said in an interview. In the wake of the Takata airbag scandal, which killed at least 24 people globally and caused 41.6 million vehicles in the US to be recalled, companies like CarFax created tools for fleet operators, making it possible to run batches of VINs through NHTSA’s recall repository. “This is not all that complicated. They have all the data,” Levine says. “They’re trying to have plausible deniability.”

An Uber spokesperson says the company offers resources to its “driver-partners” to detect and handle recalls, and proactively removes access to the app for drivers in vehicles with “Do Not Drive” recalls, a classification for especially urgent safety problems. Lyft also boots “Do Not Drive” cars, and says drivers have a “strong personal incentive” to keep their cars safe.

But on both services, it’s the driver’s responsibility to address recalls. (Via and Gett, which acquired Juno in 2017, did not reply to requests for comment.) That fits the pattern of how Lyft and Uber work with those drivers. They work to keep liability at arm’s length by insisting that they merely provide the technological platforms that connect drivers to passengers. And while they (loosely) restrict what kind of car a driver can use on those platforms, they take no ownership or responsibility for the vehicle.

For Levine, the fact that Uber addresses cars with “Do Not Drive” notices indicates that the company could do the same for all recalls. It and Lyft could point to a more proactive, safety-minded approach as a selling point, he says, though notes it took a series of sexual assault cases (amid other terrible PR) for Uber to drop forced arbitration clauses from its contracts. Levine hopes it takes less effort, and injury, to resolve this issue. “They have the ability to fix this,” he says.


More Great WIRED Stories

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NHTSA Sends Elon Musk a Cease & Desist Letter over Tesla Safety Claims

Tesla CEO Elon Musk received a cease-and-desist letter from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) over his claims that the …

Tesla CEO Elon Musk received a cease-and-desist letter from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) over his claims that the Tesla Model 3 is the safest car in the world.

Business Insider reports that in October 2018, the NHTSA sent a cease-and-desist letter to Tesla CEO Elon Musk over his claims that the Tesla Model 3 sedan is the safest car in the world. Transparency group PlainSite published the cease-and-desist letter this week along with other correspondence between Tesla and the NHTSA obtained via Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

According to the letter dated October 17, 2018, Tesla made “a number of misleading statements” about the safety of its Model 3 sedan. CEO Elon Musk also promoted these claims via social media. This claim was linked to the 5-star rating that the NHTSA gave the Model 3 in Septembers, but according to the agency, the high rating does not equate to a car being “safer” than other cars with a 5-star label. The complaint highlights a Tesla blog post from October 7 in which the firm states that the Model 3 “achieves the lowest probability of injury of any vehicle ever tested by NHTSA.”

The NHTSA told Musk that this blog post along with his various other claims “misled customers.” At the time of the posting of the blog post, Musk shared a link to the post on his personal Twitter account and quoted Tesla saying: “There is no safer car in the world than a Tesla” and added himself: “The physics of how Tesla achieved best safety of any cars ever tested.”

The NHTSA issued a veiled response to Tesla which did not name the firm but stated that there was “no ‘safest’ vehicle among those vehicles achieving 5-star ratings.” In the published cache of correspondence between the NHTSA and Tesla, Tesla lawyer Al Prescott stated that “Tesla has provided consumers with fair and objective information.”

A lawyer for the NHTSA, Jonathan Morrison, stated that: “This is not the first time that Tesla has disregarded the guidelines in a manner that may lead to consumer confusion and give Tesla an unfair market advantage.” When questioned by Business Insider, Tesla referred to a letter from October 31st to the NHTSA in which the company states:

Tesla’s blog statements are entirely based on actual test results and NHTSA’s own calculations for determining relative risk of injury and probability of injury. Based on this published data, the Model 3 Long Range RWD has achieved a Vehicle Safety Score of 0.38 that translates to an overall probability of injury of 5.7%. NHTSA has rated almost 1,000 vehicles since the current NCAP began with the 2011 model year. We have compared these results to every other public test report. No vehicle has ever achieve an overall lower score.

Based on the foregoing, we do not see a reason to discontinue use of our safety blog or these statements as long as no other vehicle surpasses the Model 3 Long Range RWD’s Vehicle Safety Score and overall probability of injury. While we do not expect NHTSA to take sides among manufacturers, we had hoped NHTSA would welcome such an achievement because it was presented in an objective manner using the agency’s own data. Model 3’s achievement is exactly what NHTSA intended with the NCAP — to encourage manufactures to continuously improve safety.

Read the full report at Business Insider here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolanor email him at lnolan@breitbart.com

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Federal safety regulators scolded Elon Musk over “misleading statements” on Tesla safety

Federal safety regulators accused Elon Musk of issuing “misleading statements” on his company’s Tesla Model 3 last year, sending a …

Faiz Siddiqui

San Francisco-based tech reporter covering automation and the future of transportation, including Tesla, Uber and Lyft

August 7 at 4:17 PM

Federal safety regulators accused Elon Musk of issuing “misleading statements” on his company’s Tesla Model 3 last year, sending a cease-and-desist letter after the chief executive claimed it was safer than other vehicles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration admonished Musk for claiming the vehicle had “the lowest probability” of injury ever tested by the agency in its safety ratings program, according to the document obtained by government and legal transparency group PlainSite. That’s because NHTSA said the mass of a vehicle plays a role in passengers surviving crashes, something that’s not directly comparable between cars of differing sizes, despite the Model 3′s five-star rating.

NHTSA referred the matter to the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, it said, to determine whether that statements constituted “unfair or deceptive acts or practices.” The documents show NHTSA also subpoenaed information from Tesla on crashes involving its vehicles.

[Tesla floats fully self-driving cars as soon as this year. Many are worried about what that will unleash.]

The publication of the letters is the latest in a string of woes for Tesla, which has had a rocky few months after a tweet by Musk last year in which he said he had secured funding to take the company private. After an investigation, the Securities and Exchange Commission and Musk agreed he would pay a $20 million fine and relinquish his company chairmanship. The company’s stock has plunged since hitting its all-time high in 2017, falling from nearly $390 to close at $233.42 Wednesday.

Regulators and industry executives have also criticized Musk for his bold predictions on launching a vehicle capable of “full self-driving” as soon as this year, followed by a robotaxi fleet next year, The Washington Post has reported. Those people say that the move to launch the largely unproved and unregulated technology could prove detrimental to the overall industry’s attempts to put self-driving cars on the road.

Tesla has faced lawsuits over its Autopilot technology, which has been active in at least three fatal crashes in the United States. And Consumer Reports said in May that Tesla was showing “what not to do on the path toward self-driving cars” with its Navigate on Autopilot feature, which it said was “far less competent” than a human driver.

In 2017, Tesla launched its mass-market Model 3 electric car, which starts at an online price of less than $40,000. The car has proved a popular choice among consumers, helping boost the company to record deliveries last quarter. The Model 3 — along with Tesla’s luxury models — has disrupted the larger automotive industry, which is still working to catch up with its own fully electric vehicles.

[The Technology 202: I drove a Tesla Model 3 and here’s what I learned: Trust but verify]

Tesla’s Model 3 earned a five-star safety rating from NHTSA in every category, the highest designation available, according to Tesla. The Model 3 also earned a five-star safety rating in Europe’s NCAP safety assessment.

Still, “frontal crash test data cannot determine whether a Model 3 would fare better in a real world frontal collision with, for instance, a significantly heavier SUV,” NHTSA said in its letter. Heavier vehicles typically offer passengers a higher chance of surviving a crash and avoiding injury. “To say that Tesla’s midsize sedan has a lower probability of injury than, say a larger SUV could be interpreted as misunderstanding safety data, an intention to mislead the public, or both.”

In response to the allegations in the NHTSA letter, Tesla pointed to previous statements defending its use of the language in question and claiming it arose from NHTSA’s own statements.

“Tesla’s blog statements are entirely based on actual test results and NHTSA’s own calculations for determining relative risk of injury and probability of injury,” wrote Alan Prescott, Tesla’s deputy general counsel, in excerpts of his response letter provided by Tesla. “Based on the foregoing, we do not see a reason to discontinue use of our safety blog or these statements as long as no other vehicle surpasses the Model 3 Long Range RWD’s Vehicle Safety Score and overall probability of injury.”

The NHTSA letter flagged a Tesla blog post titled “Model 3 achieves the lowest probability of injury of any vehicle ever tested by NHTSA,” which remains on its website.

[Tesla loss shows perils of lower-priced Model 3]

The FTC declined to comment on whether it had opened an investigation or reached a resolution on the matter. NHTSA said that it is committed to rigorous oversight of the industry.

NHTSA’s subpoenas appeared to include requests for information on Tesla crashes in multiple locations — including in Delray Beach, Fla., and Mountain View, Calif.

Walter Huang, a 38-year-old Apple engineer, died after a fiery wreck while driving his Tesla Model X SUV on Autopilot in Mountain View in March 2018, authorities have said. Jeremy Banner, 50, was killed while Autopilot was active when his Model 3 collided with a tractor-trailer in Delray Beach, according to authorities.

The crashes have raised questions over the safety of Tesla’s Autopilot driver-assistance system, which keeps cars within their lanes and performs steering functions, among other features.

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Feds Demanded Tesla To Stop Claiming Model 3 Safest Vehicle Ever Tested, Letter Reveals

… the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s chief counsel wrote to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, saying it “is impossible to say based on the frontal …

FREMONT (CBS SF / CNN) — A federal safety regulator demanded last fall that Tesla stop claiming the Model 3 is the safest car ever tested. But Tesla has stood by the claim.

Tesla says Model 3 occupants have “the lowest probability of injury of all cars the safety agency has ever tested.” The claim is still on the company’s website. But in a cease-and-desist letter dated October 17, 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s chief counsel wrote to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, saying it “is impossible to say based on the frontal crash results or overall vehicle scores whether the Model 3 is safer than other 5-Star rated vehicles.”

The letter came to light this week after an exchange of letters and emails between NHTSA and Tesla executives starting last October and running through February of this year was posted on Plainsight, a legal transparency website. The documents were released under a Freedom of Information Act request. It was first reported by Bloomberg.

NHTSA’s letter said this wasn’t the first time Tesla has violated agency guidelines for using the federal crash test data in marketing or advertising. The regulator said it was referring Tesla to the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection to investigate whether the company had engaged in unfair or deceptive acts.

It is not clear from the documents if NHTSA or the FTC are pursuing action against Tesla at this time.

Tesla sent a response to that letter on October 31, 2018, standing by its analysis of NHTSA data.

“Tesla’s statements are neither untrue nor misleading,” said the letter sent to NHTSA from Tesla deputy general counsel Al Prescott. “To the contrary, Tesla has provided consumers with fair and objective information to compare the relative safety of vehicles having 5-star overall ratings.”

The automaker says that 40% of cars now have 5-star safety ratings from NHTSA, so “it is more important than ever to help consumers differentiate.”

A Tesla spokesman had no comment on Wednesday, and referred to the company’s letter to NHTSA as its position on the matter. NHTSA did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday morning, and a spokesperson for the FTC declined to comment.

The initial letter from NHTSA came just after the Securities and Exchange Commission and Tesla had reached a settlement over charges that Musk had deceived investors when he had tweeted in August that he had “funding secured” to take the company private. Tesla and Musk each agreed to pay $20 million to settle that dispute, and the SEC dropped its demand that Musk be removed as CEO.

© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten. CNN contributed to this report.

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