20 February 2015

Call for more work on making used cars safe

Further moves need to be made to help ensure that used cars are safe, a leader of the industry said last night, writes Trish Whelan.

President of the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) James Brooks suggested that it should be illegal to sell a car with less than the 1.6mm legal minimum tread depth, and also that valid NCT certificates should be required as a condition of sale.

Speaking at the Society's 62nd Annual Dinner in Dublin last night he noted that almost 700,000 cars failed their NCT tests last year, and over half of all cars tested failed.

But he also said that a breakdown of the figures showed that only 30 percent of cars at four years old failed their first NCT test, while the figure at nine years old was 70 percent.

Mr Brooks also called for the Industry to look to the future with renewed confidence. “We are an Industry that thrives on confidence," he said. "Consumer confidence, together with the availability of finance are vital for selling new and used vehicles.”

He acknowledged that the 2nd registration plate was a contributing factor which now gives the Industry a second sales peak each year. He thanked all involved in delivering this better system. The SIMI President also noted the Industry’s work in areas such as End of life Vehicles (ELVES) the structural repair of vehicles (CSS) and Commercial Vehicle Testing (VTN).

Commenting on the increase in passenger car sales, up 32 percent so far this year, and light commercial vehicles sales up an astonishing 70 percent; James Brooks noted that consumers are starting to spend again. However registrations in the HGV market are off to a slow start for a variety of reasons, amongst which, the implementation of a new type approval processes is slowing down registrations, and this is a cause for concern. It is hoped that additional resources will be delivered urgently to solve the current situation as quickly as possible.

The SIMI President complimented the Road Safety Authority for its work in relation to the standards of vehicles on our roads

In closing the President recognised that “the Industry itself has an obligation to do something to help improve the safety of older cars on our roads. We have all been touched by the consequences of fatal accidents, it's not about business; it's about saving lives.”