Thousands of dangerous cars still on Irish roads

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Fail_Dangerous Thousands of dangerous cars are still on Irish roads

Thousands of people are driving extremely dangerous cars and not only are they putting their own lives at risk but they are also putting other road users at serious risk as well.

New figures reveal that 6,000 car owners turned up for their NCT’s this year with cars that were so unroadworthy and so dangerous that test centre staff advised them not to even drive their cars away from the centre but have them towed away, rather than driven, away.

When this situation occurs at the NCT test centres, the vehicles are slapped with a special sticker put on their windscreens in order to indicate their perilous status, after which an NCT official reads out a formal statement to the vehicle owner, detailing the dangerous aspects of the car and why it is deemed unroadworthy.

The vehicles are designated by the NCT as 'fail-dangerous' vehicles and the number of these vehicles being tagged as dangerous remain stubbornly consistent each year. For example, in 2014 the number of dangerous vehicles presenting at the test centres came to 4,800. The total number for 2017 was 5,903.

The vast majority of owners are completely shocked when they are told that their cars are too dangerous even to drive away from the test centre and the majority of owners will immediately agree to have it towed away but still a minority of drivers ignore warnings and drive off.

A Road Safety Authority spokesman said: "The vehicles were considered to constitute a direct and immediate risk to road safety and should not be used on the road under any circumstances."


These people just ignore the reality that not only is this extremely dangerous but it is also an offence to drive such a vehicle, putting themselves and other road users at risk. The RSA spokesman went on to say:
"When the NCT was first introduced, more than 4 per cent of vehicles failed with a dangerous defect.

"Since then there has been a phenomenal increase in the number, and age, of cars on our roads.

"In today's terms, that would be 60,000 dangerously defective vehicles on our roads if we didn't have the NCT."

Some of the main reasons for 'fail-dangerous':

  • Impossible to close doors properly because they were badly out of alignment with the body of the car;

  • Fuel hoses so badly frayed they could have started a fire if petrol dripped onto hot areas of the engine;

  • Bodywork was so seriously corroded that the car was structurally dangerous;

  • Unevenly worn, bulging or bald tyres.

The first-time pass rate for all cars tested during 2017 was 48 per cent and 90.8 per cent for the re-test pass rate. The total cars were tested up to November 30 was of 1,283,199.


Justin Kavanagh
Justin Kavanagh is a recognised leader in automotive intelligence and vehicle data supply to the entire motor industry. He has almost 20 years experience in building systems from the ground up. As the Managing Director of Vehicle Management System, he understands the need and importance of trustworthy and reliable vehicle history and advice to both the trade and the public.
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