No matter whether TÜV, Dekra, GTÜ or KÜS – a general vehicle inspection follows fixed rules for all inspectors. Basically, this can be broken down into a simple principle: If a vehicle has one or more defects, there is no sticker.
But there is one exception: the so-called defect loop allows the coveted inspection sticker to be issued if a defect identified can be remedied as quickly as possible, ideally on site. However, this only applies to minor defects.
A minor defect includes defective lights, damage to mirrors or too little air in the tires. In short: These are “StVZO-relevant defects that are not expected to pose a immediate danger to traffic.” However, you shouldn't have an infinite number of these construction sites, because in total, depending on the inspector's discretion, this can be a significant defect.
But issuing a sticker "with a blind eye" could be abolished in the future: As "Auto Motor Sport" reports, the North Rhine-Westphalia Motor Vehicle Trade Association has received a letter outlining the elimination of the defect loop. This proposal, it goes on to say, is currently being examined by the Federal Ministry of Justice (BMJ) to determine its legality.
If it happens that it is no longer possible to rectify a minor defect immediately, this could mean additional costs, especially for drivers of older vehicles, if they drive for inspection without a thorough preliminary check.
The elimination of the defect loop would mean a so-called re-inspection if the inspector notices something that is no longer seen as a mere indication, but as a minor defect. This would mean that in addition to the costs for the main inspection and emissions test, which together are around 150 euros, another around 30 euros would be added.
Minor defects are anything but rare. Documents from the Federal Motor Transport Authority show that over 2.7 million such deficits were reported in 2022 - the equivalent of more than 12 percent of all inspections. It is not clear from the documents how often the defect loop was used. Stern's inquiry to the Federal Office yielded no results.
According to TÜV, a follow-up inspection must take place “no later than one month after the failed general inspection.” It goes on to say: "If this deadline is not met, there is a risk of a warning fine according to the catalog of fines (approx. 40 euros). In addition, a new general inspection must be carried out in its entirety."