The Irish Tyre Industry Association (ITIA) has liaised with the Road Safety Authority and NCT management to clear up some confusion in the implementation of tyre regulations at NCT centres, resulting in vehicles being failed in error.
The NCT manual states that “if tyres fitted to individual axles are not of the same size, aspect ratio or type ‘(i.e. cross-ply, radial-ply, run-flat, winter or summer)” then the vehicle will fail the test.”
Some issues have arisen in relation to tyres with the M+S symbol. M+S tyres are not considered to be winter tyres unless labelled as such by the presence of a winter tyre symbol on the sidewall of the tyre.
All winter tyres are labelled on the sidewall with a symbol of a snowflake inside a mountain. M+S tyres are available in both a winter and summer compound. A regular M+S tyre will be labelled with the letters M+S on the sidewall while a winter M+S tyre will bear the winter symbol in addition to the M+S lettering.
Where an M+S tyre (without the snowflake symbol) is fitted on the same axle as a normal summer tyre, provided it is of the same size and aspect ratio, it is not considered a reason for failure.
However, where a tyre bearing the snowflake symbol (i.e. a winter tyre) is fitted on the same axle as a normal summer tyre, it is a reason for failure.
Clarification has been issued to NCTS and will be implemented right away.