Calls For National Recall Database Director and co-founder, Shane Teskey today called for a change to the way vehicles are "recalled" for urgent repairs by their manufacturer. has identified gaps in the current methodology which could lead to thousands of cars operating on Irish roads without notification of urgent repairs called for by the manufacturer.
Mr. Teskey has called for the establishment of one central database where each manufacturer would record details of past, current and future recall campaigns. A similar system operated by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency in the UK (VOSA) carries details in excess of 5 thousand separate recalls, many of which could have been relevant for Irish drivers.
"The present system which relies mostly on written correspondence from the manufacturer to the registered owner is flawed and liable to leave thousands of affected car owners uninformed about the urgent repairs required" he said.
European legislation requires that vehicle recalls are administered by the most competent authority in the state. In Ireland this duty falls to the Department of Transport that manages the National Vehicle and Driver File.
When a ‘Recall Campaign’ is deemed necessary, the Department provides the manufacturer with the recorded names and addresses for the present registered owners who are subsequently informed by writing of the remedial action required.
There are many reasons why this important information may never reach the current keeper.

  • The owners current address may be different to that recorded on the government database
  • The registered owner may not be the actual user of the car
  • Title to the vehicle may have recently changed hands and the change of ownership not yet been processed
  • The vehicle may have been privately imported and subsequently overlooked by the local distributor carrying out the recall

Usually, details of a recall campaign are communicated in writing to the registered owner and direct to the local franchised dealer tasked with carrying out the repair on behalf of the manufacturer. This way, important repairs are often carried out along with the normal servicing. However, In the current economic climate many consumers choose to have their cars serviced by non-franchise operators who may not have access to the manufacturers diagnostic equipment or internal communications. If the mechanic working on the vehicle doesn’t have the information, the repair could go undetected and cause serious trouble further down the line.
"The recent publicity surrounding recalls currently in operation with Toyota, Honda and Peugeot have drawn attention to a problematic area that requires immediate attention" says Teskey. "At Motorcheck we take matters of road safety and vehicle maintenance very seriously. Rather than wait for government to draft legislation on this we have decided to release our own National Recall Database. Adopting 'best practice' from the UK it will be hosted online at and be completely free to use for both industry operators and concerned members of the public".

John - February 10, 2010 at 5:22 pm
I think that this is a great idea and well done to Motorcheck on their suggestion! I would imagine that Noel Brett and the people in the RSA would also endorse this proposal. Obviously manufacturers want to keep details of recalls to themselves as much as possible because of their fear of bad publicity, but if they are forced to divulge it, surely it would encourage them to ensure that their cars were not subject to recalls at all - build them better and safer? In addition shouldn't it be the owners entitlement to know if there's a potential problem with their vehicle?
David Byrne - February 25, 2010 at 6:46 pm
Good points indeed but with the high level of worldwide publicity Toyota are getting about their recent recalls, you would have to be deaf and blind not to know about a recall concerning your toyota. I came across this very interesting web site about a guy who bought a car from Murray Motor Company t/a Castleknock Car Centre and doesn’t appear to be happy about the car. Maybe he wishes his car was recalled before he bought it. It raises a very good question. Should more of us take this approach if we are unhappy with a car we bought from a garage?
Simon - March 11, 2010 at 1:33 pm
I thought Toyota were supposed to be the best built cars in the world but now I am not so sure. I saw on the news the other day in America a police car had to get in front of a Toyota driver and stop his car because the accelerator pedal had jammed. Frightening to say the least. I would imagine Toyota car sales have being seriously hit by all the recalls. @David Byrne: I looked at that site / and feel sorry for that guy. Well if I was buying a car I know exactly who I won’t be buying it from. I sent the guy a message of support by email from his site. Hope he gets things sorted. I certainly would take the same approach as Patrick Skelly because he is clearly being messed around by this car dealer. It is dealers like this that has most of us not trusting second hand car dealers.
Are the Upcoming Changes to the NCT Really Necessary? – Motorcheck Blog - March 15, 2010 at 9:06 pm
[...] that the repair work was duly carried out on the vehicle being tested. Motorcheck has already called for the establishment of a national recall database that could record such eventualities and we believe that the NCT would be a perfect place to [...]
Patrick Skelly - April 15, 2010 at 6:41 pm
@David Byrne Its Patrick Skelly here, the guy who created the car web site mentioned above. I am delighted to announce that Phil Murray, the owner of the garage, resolved the problems I was having in a very honourable way. He exchanged my car for another car without me having to pay any money over. I am very happy and impressed with Phil’s actions. I wish more companies resolved problems with their customer in such a satisfactory way. Thank you Phil once again. Patrick Skelly. PS. I have permanently taken down the web site as this matter is now closed and resolved to my satisfaction.
Shane Teskey - April 16, 2010 at 10:42 am
Hi Patrick, Thanks for letting us know. Car dealers are under financial pressure today like never before and it's great to see an example of one doing the right thing regardless. Best of luck with the new car.
Patrick Skelly - June 08, 2010 at 11:57 pm
Hi Shane New car going grand thanks. I wish more car dealers would do the right thing. I have major concerns with SIMI and the way they handled my particular case. Their decision in this matter absolutely shocked me and would cause all members of the public to be seriously concerned. I have absolutely no faith in SIMI at all after experiencing their decision making. But as I say, the car dealer in this matter done the right thing in the end.
Shane Teskey - June 09, 2010 at 12:27 am
Hi Patrick, Glad to hear everything went okay. I'm surprised that SIMI didn't live up to your expectations. Is there anything they could have done better?
Alan Nolan - June 14, 2010 at 5:47 pm
Hi Shane We don’t normally get into responding on-line in relation to particular cases under our Customer Complaints Service, as this is subject to some legal constraints, however in deference to your own very lively (and always interesting) Blog, I can respond on the principles raised. Briefly I would say that Mr Skelly did get a reply from me as well as a decision on his complaint by the Standards Tribunal that decided on his case. All I can say is that this Tribunal is necessarily separated from SIMI in its decisions; it includes Consumer representation and operates under an independent Chairman who is a retired Right Commissioner. Their decision is binding on an SIMI member Garage but not on the Consumer and although they do an exceptional job and succeed in resolving very many cases, naturally in some cases either the consumer or the garage may feel that they got it wrong. That said their decisions are the end of our process but the consumer can take other avenues if not satisfied. SIMI has over recent years worked to ensure independence and balance in the operation of this free voluntary complaints system and certainly wouldn’t wish to undermine this by seeking to overrule decisions made by the established Tribunal. Mr Skelly states that he provided “proof” to SIMI on two serious issues, obviously evidence and proof are not necessarily the same thing and the Tribunal have to consider such issues in reaching their decisions, bearing in mind that the Tribunal does not have the same power or protection as the law courts in relation to sworn evidence, summoning witnesses etc. In the end, Mr Skelly confirms that he has settled his claim and, he states, that as part of that agreement with the garage he has agreed not to put any more details about the dispute in the public domain. We were not involved in that agreement but for our part, although we cannot reopen the case, I have, as I informed Mr. Skelly, asked one of our Directors to look into the matter and to respond to the questions raised. I understand that this is in hand, although the impact of the holiday season may have slowed this a little. It is always disappointing if a consumer is unhappy with how their complaint was handled through our system and although we can’t reopen a complaint after the Tribunal has made a decision, we regularly review the effectiveness of the system and issues such as this, which arise from time to time, may inform future developments in this service.
Shane Teskey - June 19, 2010 at 11:21 pm
Hi Alan, Thanks for the contribution and your kind words about the blog. It's good to know that SIMI take all consumer complaints seriously and have a procedure in place for mediation as well as representation.
Patrick Skelly - June 09, 2010 at 7:51 am
Hi Shane Yes SIMI could and should have made a different decision than the one they did. They clearly did had NOT put the best interest of the public ahead of their member. I cannot go into much detail here because part of the agreement I have with the garage for exchanging my car is that I would not put anymore details about the problems with the original car in the public domain. As I have already said, the garage did do the right thing in the end. If you have a contact telephone number I would be more than delighted to ring you and tell you exactly what I provided to SIMI and you too will be shocked at the decision they came to. As far as I am concerned SIMI have NOT got the best interest of the car buying public at heart. I hope someone from SIMI sees these posts because I would challenge SIMI to explain how they could possibly have come to the decision they did in my complaint to them in this matter. I have tried to get to speak to someone at SIMI to explain their shocking decision but almost two months later, I am still waiting for them to return my calls. I have emailed Mr. Alan Nolan the Director General of SIMI several times about this matter but he also seems not bothered at the shocking decision his organisation has made. So if anyone from SIMI reads this, and in particular, Mr. Alan Nolan, I would like to ask you to return my calls and stop trying to ignore this very serious matter because I have already told you that I will not let this matter lie. In my opinion SIMI made an absolutely shocking and disturbing decision with my complaint. They COMPLETELY ignored two very serious issues which I provided independent written proof of to SIMI. I have rang and emailed them numerous times to try and find out why they ignored these two serious issues but at the time of writing this post, no one from SIMI, including Mr. Alan Nolan, have returned any of my calls or replied to my emails.