It will be another 11 weeks before full inspections can resume at all NCT tests centres nationwide, it was announced this evening.
nderbody inspections required as part of the National Car Test (NCT) had been suspended at all of the National Car Testing Services’ (NCTS) 47 centres last month when it emerged that lifts used to do the inspections were faulty.
Although an inspection of all 106 lifts is now complete, it won’t be before the end of April before the necessary repairs are finished and full inspections are expected to resume across the network, according to a statement from the NCTS.
“The full condition survey identified that there are now 85 lifts in need of repair. These lifts have a similar defect on the scissor lift arm that requires a repair and replacement of a part,” the statement read.
“NCTS has now agreed with the lift manufacturer a full repair programme of each of the remaining 85 vehicle lifts that are still temporarily suspended.”
The repairs won’t begin until March 2, however, when the replacement parts are available.
The repairs are expected to take about two days on average at each centre.
However, the NCTS is hoping that half of the test centres will resume full tests by the end of March and the rest will be completed by the end of April.
Currently, only about 20pc of the busiest test centres in the country are fully operational, with eight more centres coming on stream this week for a total of 14 centres that will be back to normal by next Tuesday.
Grant Henderson, NCTS General Manager, said: “Whilst we are making progress, we would like to stress that not all lifts in test centres are operating, therefore most customers are receiving a partial inspection only.”
“However we continue to ensure that those who are due a driving test or an taxi NCT roadworthiness test are receiving a full inspection.”
In the meantime, the NCTS is looking to hire more vehicle inspectors and increase the test centres’ hours of operation to “accommodate all customers who have an underbody inspection outstanding.”
Motorists who get their NCT inspections without the underbody test will get an automatic fail.
However the NCTS is advising customers to continue to book and turn up for their inspections with the underbody inspection to be completed at a later date at no additional cost.
They won’t however, be compensated for the inconvenience of having to undergo both tests on different dates.
Drivers who have completed a partial test are advised to keep a copy of the inspection report to present to gardai if required. However, they are still responsible for the roadworthiness of their vehicles by law.
Mr Henderson added: “Our NCTS staff are working very hard to try and accommodate all customers who are presenting for inspection and where possible, they are doing their best to inspect customer’s vehicles in full. NCTS would like to apologise to all our customers for this inconvenience and we ask that customers please bear with us through this as we are endeavouring to restore normal service as soon as possible.”