The Government has been urged to introduce legislation for the proper regulation of vehicle write offs.
Approximately 36,000 vehicles are written off in Ireland every year. About 12,000 never return to the roads due to the extent of the damage, but some 24,000 are returned to the fleet annually.
“This increases the number of written off vehicles in the Irish fleet,” argued vehicle history expert Cartell.ie when they made the call on Government.
Apparently there are over 200,000 write offs in the Irish fleet at any time, and every year approximately 3,000 are designated as write offs for the second time in their life cycle. Some will even be written off three or more times, Cartell suggested.
They estimates that at least six deaths occur per annum in vehicles which were previously written off.
The call for proper regulation followed the tragic story of Sadie McGrady (6), who died in her mother’s car, which was a previously written-off-and-repaired vehicle, unknown to the family.
Calls in the UK for tighter regulation of written off vehicles in the wake of the McGrady case also ring true for Ireland where regulations are far behind their UK equivalents.
Vehicles written off by an insurer and returned to the road may not be as safe as before the incident. Furthermore, the vehicle may leave occupants particularly vulnerable where expensive repair items such as airbags may not have been refitted, or may not have been refitted correctly.
An accident will have deformed the metal via heat and mechanical deformation. In cases where the chassis of the vehicle needs to be re-aligned, the re-alignment process can leave the car structurally vulnerable.