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Motorists taking NCT will have to return at a later date to complete test and receive full certificate

If stopped by gardaí without a full NCT certificate, motorists are urged to show gardaí a report issued to them by the NCTS.

File photo.
File photo.
Image: Shutterstock/wavebreakmedia

Updated Jan 30th 2020, 9:23 PM

THE NCT GENERAL manager said it won’t be possible to provide full NCT certificates to motorists bringing their vehicles in for a test until surveys on lift equipment are completed, which could take up to three weeks.

Yesterday, it was announced that part of the NCT testing for cars in Ireland had been suspended pending a full safety inspection of vehicle lifts used in testing centres. 

If their NCT is due, vehicle owners should make a booking as normal and keep their NCTS test appointments, where all other elements of the vehicle will be tested.

This evening, the Road Safety Authority said that it’s working with An Garda Síochána and Applus, the company which currently operates the NCT test on behalf of the State.

It said that Applus was working to resolve the issue “as a matter of the utmost urgency”, and that some lifts will “come back on line shortly” in some centres. 

It clarified the following advice about what NCT test certificate would be issued:

As an interim measure, a Vehicle Inspection Report will be issued in the normal way following a test. While it will indicate the result as a ‘Fail’ it will clearly indicate ‘No lift inspection done’ in relation to Stage 3 of the test dealing with the visual inspection of the underbody.
Motorists affected by the issue are advised to keep a copy of their Vehicle Inspection Report with them in their vehicle.

It said that the safety of its staff and customers’ property was of “paramount importance”.

General manager Grant Henderson told RTÉ Radio One’s Morning Ireland the National Car Testing Service (NCTS) had taken the decision to do as much of the test as they can for customers, who will then have to return at a later date to complete the test and receive their certificate. 

If someone is stopped by the gardaí and doesn’t have a full NCT certificate due to suspension of the full test, Henderson advised motorists to show a copy of the report that will be given to them at the NCT centre in lieu of the full certificate.

He also urged them to show evidence of having had the car prepared for the test at a repair garage prior to the NCT and their previous NCT cert if stopped by the gardaí

The partial test suspension, which took effect immediately, came one day after MOT testing in Northern Ireland was suspended due to similar issues

The NCTS took the decision yesterday evening to discontinue the use of vehicle inspection lifts across all 47 test centres “with immediate effect until a full condition survey of all lifts is completed”, it said in a statement. 

“NCTS were recently made aware of a defect with a similar make and model of MAHA lift. Following that information, condition surveys have been instigated.”

The lifts in question are the scissor lifts that are used to raise a vehicle above ground to
inspect the underbody area. 

“All customers should continue to book and turn up for their NCT as normal,” it said.

The NCT general manager said the onus is on the motorist to ensure their vehicle is road worthy.

“All other elements of the test will be completed as normal,” Henderson said. “The responsibility for ensuring road worthiness of vehicles is with the owner.

“We’re telling customers what we’ve always done which is book your test, ensure your vehicle is prepared for the test in advance and we will conduct the test elements we can at this stage. We’ll issue the customer with a vehicle report and issue a full certificate once the lift element is completed.”
Henderson was also asked about the inconvenience that would be caused to people having to come in a second time to finish their NCT test.
“It certainly has [been thought through],” he said.

“This has to be put in motion over a very short period of time. We’ve spent that time thinking the process through to ensuring that we’re doing the right thing for motorists and the safety of motorists on Irish roads.”

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Sean Murray

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