Two new lifts are reported to have gone into operation at MOT test centres in Northern Ireland after tests were suspended earlier this week over safety fears.
They had already been purchased from the same company that provided Northern Ireland’s other 55 lifts.
Infrastructure minister Nichola Mallon said she hoped the move would help ease a growing backlog following the suspension of tests for cars and light vehicles because of faults with lifts.
A complete suspension at all of Northern Ireland’s 15 testing stations was announced on Monday evening after signs of cracking were found in 48 of 55 lifts, leading to the cancellation of around 5,000 MOT tests.
Mallon said the two new lifts “will allow us to increase capacity, get to those priority motorists and start to address the backlog”.
Most cars have been issued with exemption certificates lasting four months, but these can’t be created for four-year-old cars or taxis.
The DVA is contacting owners of four-year-old cars to help them book MOT tests in the coming days.
“This situation is not acceptable”
During a visit to the Balmoral MOT centre in Belfast, Mallon said: “I am very clear that this situation is not acceptable.
“I took up the post two weeks ago and I have inherited this mess.
“The first review will be conducted by independent professional auditors – I want to understand exactly what happened here, who knew what, when and what action was taken and the timelines involved.
“The second review, I have asked that an independent expert is appointed who can provide me with independent advice about the steps that now must be taken to ensure that we can get back to business as usual and safely in our MOT centres across Northern Ireland.”
“This is hugely embarrassing”
Speaking to BBC News NI earlier this week, Paul Duffy, chief executive of the DVA said: “This is hugely embarrassing for the DVA.
“I think we have a fairly good reputation and this is something that has tarnished that reputation.
The DVA is yet to respond to Garage Wire’s requests for details of the affected lifts.
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