Tuesday 17 July 2018

RSA chief defends ‘sophisticated’ NCT test against allegations of ineffectiveness

NCT centre
NCT centre

Meadhbh McGrath

The Chief Executive of the Road Safety Authority has defended the National Car Test against claims that there are flaws in the testing process which could lead to fatal collisions.

Speaking on RTE Radio One’s Morning Ireland, Moyagh Murdock argued that the NCT had helped to save lives and said it is “probably the most sophisticated test (of its kind) in Europe”.

Ms Murdock joined the programme to respond to last night’s Testing the Limits documentary, which showed that it was possible for a car to pass the test with defective shock absorbers.

She said that in 2015, the RSA tested more than 1.49m vehicles, the largest number ever, and noted that more than 6,000 of those vehicles had been removed from the road.

Ms Murdock added that since the test was introduced, up to 5pc of vehicles tested have been taken off the road.

Addressing the RTE investigation, she said that the RSA “did not accept” that there were four defective shock absorbers on the vehicle featured in the report.

She added that they conducted their own research on a car, and found that brand new shock absorbers will also demonstrate figures of above 80 mahameters, the range in question.

Read more: NCT should not be taken as gospel, says leading car assessor

“This is one of the challenges with the NCT, that there is no agreed test for what the reading should be,” she said.

Ms Murdock added that that there is no agreed international measurement for the test for that mahameter reading, only a visual test for leaks and an imbalance test.

She continued that a range of factors including soft suspension, hard suspension, sport suspension, tyre pressure and tyre type can contribute to the effectiveness of suspension.

“We fully believe that we are incrementally improving the road safety in Ireland,” she said, adding that the Irish NCT is “probably the most sophisticated in Europe”.

However, she warned, motorists should not rely on the NCT alone as a guarantee of road-worthiness.

“You cannot solely depend on the NCT, you must get your vehicle checked out by a competent mechanic,” she said.

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