10% of private CNG vehicles have not been sent for inspection

10% of private CNG vehicles have not been sent for inspection
A private CNG vehicle leaves an inspection centre. For not doing the mandatory checks, vehicle owners are liable to penalties. Today file photo
Published: 10:40 PM, June 9, 2017
Updated: 11:08 PM, June 9, 2017

SINGAPORE — With just hours to go before the deadline on Friday (June 9), owners of more than 160 private vehicles fitted with compressed natural gas (CNG) cylinders still had not responded to the Land Transport Authority (LTA)’s order to have their vehicles sent for inspection or re-inspection.

As of 5.30pm, 90 per cent — or 1,476 — private CNG vehicles had been sent for checks, or their owners had applied to remove the CNG systems instead of sending their vehicles for inspection.

Most of the inspection centres close by 5.30pm, but a handful remain open till 10pm.

For not doing the mandatory checks, vehicle owners are liable to penalties: A fine of up to S$1,000, or jail of up to three months for the first offence, and a fine of up to S$2,000, or jail of up to six months for a subsequent offence.

In a statement responding to TODAY’s queries, the LTA said that 1,363 private vehicles have been inspected so far, and out of these, 105 were found with gas leakage. This is a lower rate than the nearly 9 per cent of taxis found to have problematic CNG systems here.

The notice to owners of private CNG vehicles came after 74 out of 832 taxis with CNG tanks failed the compulsory inspections ordered by the LTA.

Two CNG taxis — both Toyota Wish models — caught fire on the road after being involved in accidents recently, and the authority initiated the checks as a precautionary measure to safeguard public safety. Preliminary investigations indicated that both fires resulted from the leakage of the gas within the vehicles, which was then ignited by the lighting of cigarettes, the LTA said in a news release last month.

All private vehicles with CNG cylinders must be checked at any of the nine authorised vehicle inspection centres by June 9, the LTA said, and the cost of the inspection would be borne by the authority.

If the vehicles do not pass the tests, they can still be used, but they must run on petrol.

Owners of vehicles which have failed the inspection have to rectify the problem, and then have their vehicles inspected again at any of the authorised inspection centres by the deadline as stated in the re-inspection notice.

The LTA said: “We would like to remind all vehicle owners to ensure that their vehicles are regularly maintained and meet the necessary road-worthiness tests. Vehicle owners and passengers should take note that smoking in CNG vehicles should be avoided at all times, and their vehicles should immediately be sent to authorised inspection centres if they detect any sulphur-type odour (similar to the smell of rotten eggs).”