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ICO rules against VOSA over details of non-safety recalls

ICO rules against VOSA over details of non-safety recalls

ICO press release
12 November 2008

The details of 22 non-safety recalls recorded by the Vehicle & Operator Services Agency (VOSA) in 2006 must be made public following a ruling under the Freedom of Information Act. The Information Commissioner’s Office has ordered VOSA to release the information as the details of non-safety recalls will not affect the commercial interests of manufacturers.

In her ruling, the Assistant Information Commissioner, Anne Jones, noted that manufacturers inform vehicle owners when there has been a non-safety recall as a way of preventing the issue developing into a safety related incident. As a result, the details of non-safety recalls were made available to thousands of owners and there is no evidence to suggest that vehicle owners are under a duty of confidentiality relating to this information.

The Assistant Information Commissioner also considered whether disclosing the infomation would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests of manufacturers. VOSA believed that releasing the information could undermine and damage the reputation of manufacturers and as a result could have a detrimental effect on their commercial revenue. The Assistant Information Commissioner disagreed with this argument, stating that VOSA could avoid misinterpretation of the information by providing an appropriate explanation of its context.”

See
Press release
Decision notice FS50146033

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