Tony O'Kane | Jul 15, 2009

ACCORDING TO a survey undertaken by Victorian auto industry body, the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC), just under a quarter of cars on Victoria's roads fail a basic safety test.

Based on data obtained from VACC-aligned automotive workshops, 24.81 percent of all cars tested this year have failed in one or more of five critical safety criteria.

VACC's five-point safety test examines the condition of a car's brakes, steering, lights, restraints and tyres. Given the critical role each component plays in vehicle safety, having just one faulty or failing component can make the vehicle unsafe.

Most failures were recorded due to unsafe tyres, with around 25 percent of cars tested showing inadequate tyre tread.

Lights were the next most frequent area of failure with 8.36 percent of tested cars having inadequate illumination. Brakes, steering and restraint failures were less common.

"These figures are concerning," VACC Executive Director, David Purchase, said.

"VACC believes not enough focus is put on the importance of vehicle safety. We hear a lot about road safety, but not enough about vehicle safety."

Mr Purchase urged motorists to pay more attention to the condition of their vehicles.

"With the winter weather set in and children back to school, now is the time to make sure the vehicle you are driving is safe," Mr Purchase said.

"New or old, your vehicle must be safe. For people who believe they are saving money by not getting their car serviced, they should think again.

"A properly maintained vehicle can save money in the long run, as an efficient performing engine saves fuel and wear-and-tear."

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