BBC BLOGS - Open Secrets
« Previous | Main | Next »

How to find a faulty vehicle

Martin Rosenbaum | 15:03 UK time, Wednesday, 12 November 2008

When a car manufacturer seeks to tell vehicle owners that there is a defect affecting a particular model, it may use the DVLA database to send out letters to possibly thousands and thousands of relevant car owners.

If the information concerns a safety defect, then it is also publicly available on the website of the Vehicle & Operator Services Agency, an executive agency of the Department for Transport.

But what about those cases where the defect is judged not to be a safety risk? VOSA has turned down a freedom of information requests for details of such 'non-safety recalls'. Its policy is not to make the information generally public, arguing that people 'might simply form an incorrect judgment about the competence of a manufacturer to build a fault-free vehicle'.

The Information Commissoner has today disagreed, ruling that if the information about a defect is already available to potentially thousands of vehicle keepers then it cannot be considered confidential. The decision also states that the way to stop the public forming an incorrect view of manufacturers' reliability is to provide an appropriate explanation of the information.


or register to comment.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.