While I am unable to comment on individual cases, as the operation of the National Car Test (NCT) is the statutory responsibility of the Road Safety Authority, I hope the following explains the relevant procedure with respect to the problems identified with vehicle lift equipment earlier in the year.
The Deputy will no doubt be aware that all Member States of the European Union are required by law to carry out a periodic roadworthiness inspections on motor vehicles at regular intervals throughout the vehicle's lifecycle. The applicable dates for periodic testing are provided for by national legislation. Under Regulation 3(2) of the Road Traffic (National Car Test) Regulations 2017 (S.I. No. 415/2017), the initial test due date for a vehicle is determined using the date of registration of that vehicle and subsequent test due dates fall on anniversaries of that date. Accordingly, all test due dates are predetermined based on the date of registration of a vehicle.
The NCT certificate relates solely to the condition of testable items at the time of testing and does not constitute a warranty for their future condition. Earlier in the year, problems with vehicle lift equipment used by NCT Test Centres meant that, in certain cases, partial NCT inspections were undertaken with the omission of an underbody inspection. In general, when drivers presented their vehicle for the subsequent underbody inspection later in the year, and thereby completing the NCT inspection, the items tested as part of the initial NCT inspection were not retested. Accordingly, it is inappropriate, and indeed potentially unsafe, to attest to the roadworthiness of items inspected earlier in the year at the time the latter inspection took place.