The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) is calling on Government to license the automotive retail sector, as it releases new consumer research that shows an underlying ignorance about the qualifications required for anyone to work on a motor vehicle. Three quarters (71%) of those surveyed by the IMI said that they believe anyone working on a car commercially would have a license to do so. However, there is currently no regulation on individuals in the motor industry. 59% of respondents said they wouldn’t let anyone work on their vehicle that didn’t know what they were doing, but only 10% knew how to check a technician’s qualifications. IMI says UK consumers are completely unaware of how vulnerable they are. They believe the Government is taking care of their safety and their rights, but they have a level of trust in their service provider, which may be entirely groundless. Brake, the road safety charity, reported that there were over 3,000 crashes in Britain were caused by vehicle defects as a result of inadequate maintenance in 2011. Motorcycle Industry Association CEO Steve Kenward said, “This would also apply to motorcycle technicians and the MCIA fully supports the IMI in its work to professionalise this and other elements of the motor trade. Customer safety must always come first and a register of qualified technicians will provide the public with assurances that many falsely believe they already have.” This follows on from developments in the professionalisation of the motorcycle training industry, with the establishment of the Motorcycle Industry Accreditation Centre (MCIAC) which provides IMI quality assured courses for motorcycle businesses and their instructors.
Steve Nash, CEO of the IMI said, “The proliferation of hybrid vehicles and complex driver assist systems has already increased the skills requirements for effective and safe working on modern vehicles. But currently there is no industry-wide license in place to ensure service technicians are properly qualified". The IMI is soon to launch a website for its professional register.
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The Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) supports the Institute of the Motor Industry’s call for licensing of the retail motor trade, as new research reveals that 70% believe it already exists.