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Fleets risking £20k fines, SMMT warns

Businesses could face a fine of up to £20,000 and/or up to three months’ imprisonment for failing to check outstanding safety recalls on vehicles.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive

That’s the warning from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) as it launches a fleet-dedicated version of its Vehicle Safety Recall Service.

Developed in 2015 for consumers, the service is now being rolled out with specific fleet features, including a bulk tool that allows up to 100,000 vehicles to be checked in one go. The service is fully automated with results usually returned within the hour. Any vehicles identified as being subject to recall action can then be scheduled as a matter of urgency at dealerships, with all work free of charge.

As well as facing possible DVSA fines or even imprisonment, fleets not taking action to sort recalls could hit by voided insurance on vehicles with outstanding recalls. Meanwhile the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 say that dealers must get vehicles with outstanding recalls fixed before selling on to a consumer. If they do not, they can be prosecuted by Trading Standards.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “The UK vehicle recall process is one of the most robust in the world, and manufacturers are committed to ensuring vehicles remain safe throughout their lifecycles, constantly striving to make the process even better. Our vehicle safety recall tool has already given peace of mind to millions of consumers and now it is supporting businesses, helping to keep fleets and retailers compliant, and vehicles safe on the road by enabling entire fleets to be checked quickly and regularly.”

The SMMT will be at tomorrow’s Fleet Show at Silverstone to provide more advice on its Vehicle Safety Recall Service. Visit stand C4 for more details.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.