Many new cars fail vehicle inspection

2:27 min

One out of every six new cars in Sweden fail their first M.O.T. or annual inspection, according to the Swedish Motor-Vehicle Inspection Company.

If you've got a brand new car, you'd be forgiven for thinking that nothing can go wrong with it. But new statistics show that as many as 17 per cent of new cars fail their first vehicle inspection.

You've got three years to do the first one, but the new car smell should still be lingering in the seat covers. Quite a disappointment then, if it doesn't pass the inspection.

"If you think of how expensive a car is, that shouldn't be happening!" said Bengt Eriksson waiting to have his car inspected at Bilprovningen in Halmstad.

In the end, his car passed the inspection, but he told Swedish Radio's reporter that with everything so computerised in new cars today, he doesn't feel confident to tinker about to improve things under the bonnet.

And experienced car inspector Kristoffer Andersson said he has seen examples that has surprised even him.

"I had a car here that had only done 7000 kilometres which didn't pass - that's pretty bad," he said. The car's ball joint had been worn down, on both the left and the right side - and the customer was pretty disappointed.

It's the first time that the Motor-Vehicle Inspection Company Bilprovningen, which inspects about a third of all cars in Sweden, has collected this data. So out of 50,000 new cars, 17 percent failed the inspection, and in 7 percent of the cars, the defect was serious enough to render a re-inspection.

Most of the defects concern the headlights, or removable towing hooks that have rusted up - but sometimes it's the breaks that are in trouble.

"The figures are alarming, really," said Morgan Isaksson is head of inspections at Bilprovningen. He puts much of the problem down to ignorance among the drivers.

"People think that cars don't need to be maintained and serviced," he said.

On the other hand, he thinks car manufacturers ought to think about making it easier for people to change the lightbulbs in the cars, as this is when things go wrong many times.

"There are a lot of 'one-eyed-cars' out on our roads," he said "it's pretty difficult to change a light bulb on a modern car - you almost have to bring it to the garage and have them do it."