More than 15 years since VRT testing started on vehicles in Malta, Transport Malta has announced the first substantial changes which should lead to more safety and more discipline on the emissions of vehicles which run on diesel engines. Transport Malta explained that the new measures, which began today, have implemented EU directives. It also explained that the flat rate for VRT tests will remain the same as it was in the past.
Garages which carry out VRT testing have now begun following the new procedures of this test. While previously, the VRT certificate used to show whether a vehicle had passed or failed from a series of tests, now the certificate will have four categories with more specific details.
A vehicle can pass from the test completely but can also pass with slight defects which are expected to be fixed. On the other hand, the vehicle certificate of those cars which do not pass will indicate whether this was due to a major defect or a defect which is dangerous. In the interest of better safety on our streets, vehicles with a dangerous defect can only be driven to the mechanic and back for the test.
Transport Malta explained that the small defects which will be noted concern aspects which until now had not been covered by the VRT test. Mr Vince Micallef Pule from Transport Malta explained how this category applies to small defects such as not having enough oil in the engine.
“This does not mean that the vehicles which did not use to pass the test before, will today start passing with small defects. Since the text is strict and has now introduced defects which did not used to be tested before, and where the owner of a vehicle which was not testable used to be told by the VRT tester to go and fix the problems, today these defects will be listed as such,” said Mr Micallef Pule.
In the case of major defects, the owner of the vehicle is obliged to carry out repairs within 16 days. The VRT garages will need to carry out a more rigorous verification where emissions of diesel engines are concerned. Vehicles which are manufactured with a diesel particulate filter, will have to ensure that this filter is working properly.
“Whereas before the tester used to simply check that it was there, today we will start testing the filter to ensure that it was not tampered with, and to check whether it is working completely,” Mr Micallef Pule said.
He added that a vehicle will be considered to have a dangerous defect if the filter is not functioning properly. The vehicles which are involved in serious accidents will have to re-do the VRT test once they are repaired.