Scrutineering advice


I am running at a hillclimb event over Easter and am in a legal roadgoing class. I still have the original steering wheel with airbag fitted as I am thinking this is original equipment and would be needed to pass the MOT.

I am also finding it difficult to find a replacement wheel boss for an after market steering wheel which would suit an airbag removal.

Does anyone know if keeping the original wheel will cause scrutineering issues, because my view would be that removing it no longer makes the car roadgoing legal


Not a problem running standard production with airbag fitted, it is in the BB in Sprints & Hillclimbs regards standard cars.

I had just read the BB on line before placing post and couldn’t see anything in Sprint, Hillclimb section (S?)- just seems to say must be road legal. If air bag is specifically referred to what para number is it in case I am in need of back-up.

Robbie Roadster, a member of the forum, ex technical adviser to the club, a Mazda mechanic and MOT tester advised that the MOT regs allow air bags to be disabled on cars used on Rally special stages due to possible nuisance air bag deployment.

Not sure if that was disconnecting the air bag from the activation mechanism or removal of the air bag.

I will leave it to the original poster to research this.

Have a look at Section 13 here:

This seems to answer the question.


Thank you so much for this link.
The debate seems to be whether the safety angle of having an airbag go off in a road going production class over-rides the Legal requirement (MOT) that if a mildly modified car has no driver airbag it would fail its MOT and therefore cannot be road legal and ineligible for that class.
My other concern is that I have to drive the car to the hillclimb event, and therefore my insurance could be invalidated if someone hit me and the airbag didn’t go off because it wasn’t there!
I think I might contact Motorsport UK for a view.

A friend races a Citroen C1 (yes, really). The C1 has a non-airbag wheel fitted as required by the race rules, along with a stripped out interior, race seat, fire extinguisher, full roll cage etc.  It’s road registered and he came over in it the other week as his ‘other’ car was off the road.  It takes advantage of the relaxation in the MOT rules for having the factory airbag removed.


That would be more than Mildly modified as mentioned in Section 13. However it seems the organisers have seen the sense in identifying a possible problem and ruled that drivers airbag should be removed?

My reading of Section 13 is that it allows true ‘competition’ cars (like my pal’s C1) the relaxations but excludes ‘mildly modified’ cars from them - which I’d interpret as as mock competition cars i.e. road cars masquerading as competition cars.  Just my interpretation of course.  Not my specialist subject.



Dear All
Some MX5’s in my class ran with airbags and some didn’t over the weekend.
Following JS’s helpful pointers I contacted one of the technical group advisers at Motorsport UK. He also quoted section 13 of the MOT testers manual and suggested that those in the government department who drafted the example of a fully modified rally car may not have known that other competition cars were used on the road.
He also suggested I asked my friendly MOT garage what they would do if my MX5 was presented without an air bag. My friendly MOT man said it would be a FAIL!.
So it seems to me that the DVSA/ Motorsport UK need to talk to each other?
My view would be that if a competition licence was presented at the time of the MOT there should be an “allowance” for removal of airbag due to competition use, and a statement made on the certificate.

my take…

you can always remove the airbag for the event and replace afterwards for road use & mot time - presumes the use of the original steering-wheel for the event AND scrutineer’s accepting the airbag being removed for driver safety*?


  • Driver safety, by removing a driver’s safety item? oh, the irony



But the main question mark is still over what is road legal? Running with a non-airbag steering wheel could be interpreted as not road legal and may be classed as an MOT failure depending on who one goes to.
I still think DVSA and Motorsport UK should sort it out between themselves, and will write in that vein to the technical chappie to suggest this.
Will let you know the outcome!

another option…


remove the airbag’s ‘bomb’ or gas generator from the unit, the steering wheel can have the centre re-fitted & ‘look’ complete? - another bonus for this is making the car lighter while looking standard


okey, this is just a few lbs but everything helps


^I’ve done this when fitting a newer vw steeringwheel on my t4 van, the van had no airbag as standard & I adapted a mk4 golf leather wheel to fit using vw parts.