Can I make a claim if I think an MoT has been falsified?

Last year I bought a Toyota Land Cruiser from a dealer with 12 months MoT. It seemed spot on. Looked good, full service history, 12 months MoT, dealer 4.8 stars. All boxes ticked.

The car was bought to pull a 2 tonne food trailer. After my first job when I was unhitching I noticed a rag hanging out of the back. Upon inspection the back end was literally hanging off, I could have killed someone. I paid the garage I use to give a full inspection quoting me £4500 to totally remove both front and rear sections along with numerous other MoT faults.

I contacted the dealer, he hung up, closed his number and liquidated the company which seemed drastic but I have been told it is more likely tax evasion. One year later I have not been able to locate him.

My question is can I make a claim for the repairs against the MoT station for all the work I had done to make the car roadworthy? The only monitor and repair if necessary note on the MoT pass was: Underbody covered with thick black sealant.

Asked on 16 April 2023 by Timothy James Stocks

Answered by David Ross
An MoT test is an annual inspection that ensures a vehicle meets minimum road safety and environmental standards. It is the responsibility of the owner to ensure that their vehicle is safe and roadworthy at all times, regardless of the MoT result. The MoT certificate is not a guarantee of the vehicle's condition, and it does not cover everything that might need repairing or replacing.

If you believe that the MoT station failed to identify a fault that should have been detected during the inspection, you may have grounds for a claim against them. However, you would need to demonstrate that the fault existed at the time of the MoT and that it was significant enough to render the vehicle unroadworthy. This might require an independent assessment from a qualified mechanic or vehicle inspector. You also have the option to report an MoT station to the DVSA here:

If the fault was not related to the MoT test, but rather a pre-existing issue that was not disclosed by the dealer, you may have a claim against them for breach of contract or misrepresentation. However, if the dealer has liquidated the company, it may be difficult to recover any damages from them.

In any case, if you are considering making a claim, you should seek legal advice from a qualified solicitor who specialises in consumer law or automotive disputes. They will be able to assess the strength of your case and advise you on the best course of action.
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