Monday 26 September 2016

Wider net is called for to cope with the flood of unsafe UK write-offs

Welcomed move 'not enough' with over 200,000 still on road

Eddie Cunningham Motoring Editor

Published 20/07/2016 | 02:30

Several sources spoken to by Independent Motors voiced concern that the measures don't cover all write-offs
Several sources spoken to by Independent Motors voiced concern that the measures don't cover all write-offs

MOVES to deal with the import and sale of the most dangerous write-offs have been welcomed - but some experts say they don't go nearly far enough.

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Transport Minister Shane Ross brought new legislation to Cabinet last week to compel insurers to notify his department of potentially lethal Category A and Category B write-offs.

This is an improvement on the current voluntary system of notification; the procedure will now be on a statutory footing.

However, the problem is perceived to range far wider than just those two categories. Several sources spoken to by Independent Motors voiced concern that the measures don't cover all write-offs.

John Byrne of vehicle-history expert Cartell.ie told us the new rules do not "adequately address" two other critical categories.

These are for cars that have been written off because the insurance company calculated the cost of restoring them to road worthiness was too high - as opposed to being severely structurally damaged as can be the case with A and B. The less-badly damaged cars fall into Category C and D.

But Mr Byrne says such vehicles (C, D) can return to the road without adequate certification of repairs by a suitably qualified automotive engineer.

He added: "There are more than 200,000 write-offs in the Irish fleet at any time, and every year approximately 3,000 are designated as write-offs for the second time in their life-cycle - some will even be written off three or more times."

Mr Byrne said this had "an obvious detrimental road safety impact and we need to ensure we are regulating this issue to the fullest extent possible".

A department spokesman told Independent Motors: "The decision to regulate category A (mechanical/physical write-offs which are irreparable) and category B (mechanical/physical write-offs, but which may have salvageable/functioning automotive components) is based on the action included in the Road Safety Strategy, consultations by the Road Safety Authority and consideration of the various legal, technical and administrative aspects by the department."

Irish Independent

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