Avoidable errors led to the wrong organs being removed from the bodies of 25 donors, an independent review has concluded.
Faulty data conversion software led to mistakes in the way information was transferred from one Government agency to another.
The Government-ordered review, by Sir Gordon Duff, said UK Transplant used faulty software to upload data on donation wishes from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) when it moved to a new computer system in 1999.
The DVLA application form includes a section where people can register their wish to become an organ donor.
The mistake came to light in February this year when NHS Blood and Transplant wrote letters to new donors thanking them for joining the register, and outlining what organs they had agreed to donate.
Respondents wrote back complaining that the information was wrong.
After detecting the error, NHS Blood and Transplant, which runs the organ donation register, was able to correct 400,000 of the flawed records. However, some 800,000 in total contained errors.
In the cases where organs were removed, families were asked for permission, but their decisions were based on misinformation about the wishes of their relatives.
Donors can give permission for any of their organs to be taken, or can specify which organs they wish to give.
Many have strong views about what should be removed, with consent frequently withheld for eyes to be donated, or bodies to be used in medical research.