South Meath Driving School

Making Irish Roads Safer

We use a 1.4 litre Toyota Yaris.

    Dual control means the tutor has a clutch and brake pedal on the passenger side for demonstration or emergency purposes.
    This car is very easy to drive and allows good vision in all directions.
    Diesel engine and manual gears.
    Seats are adjustable to suit small or tall people. Wing mirrors electronically adjustable
    Perfect for learning to drive.

Archive for January, 2015

Posted by Louis on January 20, 2015

An NCT Experience

Vehicles in Class B – cars, vans and jeeps – that are over four years old are required to have a NCT (National Car Test) certificate. This system of testing was introduced in the year 2,000. Peoples stories of their trials and experiences are akin to the Canterbury Tales, especially when fuelled by the comfort of a bar stool. Not all those tales are imaginary let alone exaggerated. Thus, I relate Jane’s tale.

Jane’s car failed the NCT (last year) due to ‘advanced corrosion’ of the brake pipes, the report stated. In the NCT manual under the heading, ‘A reason for failure: brake pipes,’ it states, ‘Perished, kinked, damaged or rusted to the extent that the pipe is pitted.’ According to the free encyclopedia, ‘Pitting corrosion or Pitting’ is defined as ‘a form of extremely localised corrosion that leads to the creation of small holes in the metal.’

I also discussed relevant matters with Jane’s mechanic and I viewed the brake pipes.

After the first test, the inspector told Jane that her car had failed because the brake pipes were in a state of advanced corrosion. That was the only area of failure. She returned her car to her mechanic who had prepared it for the test. He expressed great surprise at the cause of failure as the pipes were steel and in excellent condition according to him. He brushed up the pipes (two) and put a coat of black paint on them.

Jane took her car for test no. 2. It failed again for the same reason – corroded brake pipes. The inspector on this occasion told Jane that he had consulted with the inspector who examined the pipes during the first test. That appeared peculiar to Jane that such consultation should have happened.

It was back with the car to the mechanic again. He knew at that stage that the only option was to replace the steel brake pipes with what he termed copper pipes of a lesser quality. He handed Jane the two steel pipes which he had removed.

Then it was NCT no. 3 and, alas, the car passed. Jane then asked to speak with a supervisor who duly arrived and identified himself. She told him of her experience and produced the same steel brake pipes to him for his observation and examination. He stated that the pipes were in perfect condition and that the car should not have failed the test.

Jane then lodged a written complaint with the NCT Customer Services Department, giving an outline of what had happened.

The written reply from that Department outlined that Jane should have returned to the NCT centre with the car when her mechanic found the brake pipes to be in such good condition. It went on that “… NCTs provide a fair and simple approach for people who feel they have been incorrectly failed …” Jane says she was not advised of this procedure after the first test or at any other time.

The most amazing statement in that reply was that because the brake pipes had been removed from the car there was no proof of their originality. This was a clear indication that despite proof of continuity of possession of the pipes by Jane and her mechanic, the guys from “Customer Services” totally ignored such and showed prejudice in favour of the NCT inspectors report.

Even in a criminal trial evidence of continuity of possession is accepted by a Court of Law, but it’s ignored in these circumstances. The other glaring piece of silence chosen by the Customer Service Dept was that no reference was made to what the supervisor had stated when Jane showed him the pipes. ‘Why, we wondered?’

But Jane wasn’t cowed by the indifference shown her. She made a further written appeal to the NCT Independent Appeals Process, AA Ireland. Surely there would be justice forthcoming this time.

Their response was in a similar vein … “Unfortunately, our role is to assess the vehicle’s condition before remedial work has been carried out  …”

Again there was no reference to the fact that the brake pipes are in Jane’s possession or to the statement of the supervisor.

Yet there was another chink of light in the tunnel. They advised Jane that she could appeal her case to the District Court. And that’s where matters stand at present with plans for the next move. It’s a slow process and who will call ‘Checkmate’ is not easily guessable. Jane is unbowed.