Closed petition Do not implement proposed new offences for vehicle "tampering"

The Government’s modernising vehicle standards proposal suggested new offences for tampering with a system, part or component of a vehicle intended or adapted to be used on a road. This could have a hugely detrimental impact on the UK motorsport and custom aftermarket industry.

More details

Modified vehicles that are used on the roads are subject to the same MOT testing as all other road cars and there are therefore adequate safeguards to ensure modified vehicles are roadworthy.

The MOT also includes emissions testing, which ensure that modified cars do not breach emission standards.

Some modifications, such as aftermarket brake parts, can even increase safety and applying any offences to improvements like this would be illogical.

This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months

115,285 signatures

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Parliament debated this topic

This topic was debated on 25 April 2022

Watch the petition 'Do not implement proposed new offences for vehicle "tampering"' being debated

Government responded

This response was given on 21 December 2021

The intention of the consultation proposal is to prevent modifications that negatively impact on road safety, vehicle security and the environment.

Read the response in full

Our ‘Future of Transport’ work is a broad and ambitious programme focused on supporting the industry. The regulatory review aims to ensure our transport regulations are fit for the future.

As part of the Future of Transport: Modernising Vehicle Standards regulatory review, we have put forward proposals to enable Government to better target and prevent harmful tampering with vehicle emission control systems, as well as with safety and security critical systems, parts and components.

We are not proposing that all modifications be prevented, and we recognise there are legitimate reasons why a vehicle owner or business may want to modify a vehicle. Our proposals are not intended to hinder activities such as motorsports, restoration, repairs, or legitimate improvements and alterations to vehicles, or indeed do any damage to the businesses involved in these activities.

Nevertheless, certain modifications can negatively affect the safety and health of the vehicle owner, its occupants, other road users, and the wider population.

Tampering activities that prevent a vehicle’s emissions system from operating correctly, such as the removal of the diesel particulate filter from a vehicle’s exhaust, can significantly increase a vehicle’s harmful pollutant emissions.

Therefore, as vehicles become increasingly automated, we want to prevent alterations to a vehicle’s integral software and sensing technologies which could create safety and security risks. A badly modified vehicle has the potential to kill its occupants and other road users. It is also essential that we ensure modern vehicles remain cyber secure throughout their lifetime, and that any modifications do not make them vulnerable to malicious cyber-attacks.

The MOT test is an important part of ensuring that vehicles on our roads are safe and roadworthy. However, we must also recognise that the MOT test is fundamentally an inspection of a vehicle as presented at the time of a test and can only be a simple check.

There are risks in relying solely upon the MOT test to tackle harmful tampering. For example, it only includes basic checks for the presence and/or function of certain emissions control equipment and is not proof that the relevant emissions standards are being met. It is therefore important that we also have the powers to target and prevent tampering activities that negatively affect road safety, vehicle security and the environment.

We opened a consultation on these measures on 28 September, which closed on 22 November. The Government will consider all responses received and publish a consultation response summarising the responses and setting out the next steps. Any legislative proposals taken forward will be carefully defined so they do not prevent vehicle owners or businesses from making legitimate modifications to vehicles.

Department for Transport

Other parliamentary business

Vehicle tampering offences to be debated - share your views with MPs

The MPs on the Petitions Committee have scheduled a debate on a petition relating to the Government's proposals to create new offences of vehicle 'tampering', which you may have signed. The debate will be held on Monday 25 April.

Watch the debate (from 4.30pm, Mon 25 April):

Read the debate transcript (available within a few hours of the debate ending):

Nick Fletcher MP, a member of the Petitions Committee, has been asked by the Committee to open the debate. MPs from all parties can take part, and a minister from the Department for Transport will respond for the Government.

Share your views with MPs

To inform the debate, Nick Fletcher would like to hear your views on the Government's plans, and what else they should be doing on this issue.

Share your views by completing this short survey:

The survey will remain open until 9am on Monday 11 April.

Your responses will be anonymous. A summary of responses will be shared with Nick and other MPs, and may be referred to in the debate. It will also be published on the Committee's website here:

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MPs debate vehicle tampering offences, informed by survey of petitioners

On Monday 25 April, MPs took part in a debate on vehicle tampering offences, prompted by a petition you signed. The debate was opened by Petitions Committee member Nick Fletcher MP, and Transport Minister Trudy Harrison MP responded for the Government.

Watch the debate:

Read the transcript:

Read House of Commons Library research on this issue:

Opening the debate, Nick Fletcher set out petitioners' concerns, and called on the Government to make sure the proposed new laws are clear about what is meant by 'tampering'. He also said the Government must take steps to ensure the motorsport and classic car sectors are not harmed by these proposals.

Responding to the debate, Transport Minister Trudy Harrison sought to reassure petitioners that the Government does not intend its proposals to prevent legitimate motorsport activities, restoration, repairs or legitimate improvements to vehicles such as classic cars and motorbikes. The Minister said more detail on its plans would be set out in the Government's formal response to its consultation on the Future of Transport, which she said will be published "in the summer".

How petitioners said the proposed offences would affect them

Ahead of the debate, the Committee ran a survey of petitioners asking how these proposed new offences would affect them. We received over 5,600 responses, and a summary was shared with MPs ahead of the debate. Thanks to everyone who took part!

Watch a short video summarising the key findings from the survey:

Read a full summary of what petitioners told us:

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