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MOTs: More details released about exemptions after test centre problems


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MOTs: More details released about exemptions after test centre problems

Image copyright Getty Images More details of plans to deal with the ongoing disruption at vehicle test centres have been released.Some drivers had MOT tests cancelled after inspections of test centres found “signs of cracking” in 48 of 55 vehicle lifts.On Saturday, the infrastructure minister said temporary MOT exemptions would be issued to affected drivers…

MOTs: More details released about exemptions after test centre problems

Image of MOT testImage copyright
Getty Images

More details of plans to deal with the ongoing disruption at vehicle test centres have been released.

Some drivers had MOT tests cancelled after inspections of test centres found “signs of cracking” in 48 of 55 vehicle lifts.

On Saturday, the infrastructure minister said temporary MOT exemptions would be issued to affected drivers from Monday.

It has now been revealed this will not apply to taxis or four-year-old cars.

However drivers of these vehicles will have their rescheduled tests prioritised.

In more details released on Sunday, Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said the temporary MOT extension certificates would extend a vehicle’s MOT by four months.

Ms Mallon said the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA had been working to address issues with vehicle lifts but “it is clear that the inspections and repairs are taking longer than initially expected and causing disruption to customers”.

There has been limited testing and cancellations at a number of centres since Wednesday.

Image caption

The BBC has obtained a picture of a crack in a lift at one of the vehicle test centres in Northern Ireland

Mrs Mallon said temporary MOT exemptions, which will be backdated to 20 January, “will allow motorists to continue to go about their daily lives without further disruption”.

But she said legislation did not allow the DVA to issue the certificates to taxi drivers.

Four-year-old-cars cannot be given an exemption certificate as they have not previously had to pass an MOT, and therefore do not have an MOT certificate to extend.

Ms Mallon said she had instructed the DVA to pay the maximum amount of compensation permissible and to ensure motorists receive their new test at no cost.

Image copyright
PA Media

Image caption

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said that she understands “that this is a matter of concern for the public”

The Department of Infrastructure previously said anyone who had a test rescheduled would be refunded half of the MOT fee.

Ms Mallon said she had instructed officials to prepare a full review “into how this situation arose”.

“My priority is to put in place steps to prevent this ever happening again,” she said.

“If you have not been contacted by the DVA to cancel your MOT test, please attend as planned.”

She added that she “will make every effort to communicate clearly to the public any updates on this situation”.

The Department for Infrastructure said anyone who had not been contacted by the DVA about their test should attend as normal.

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It added that drivers should continue to book MOT appointments once they received their annual reminder letter.

Ms Mallon will provide a written statement to the Northern Ireland Assembly on the issue on Monday.

Turned away

On Saturday an Armagh councillor said drivers with test bookings were still being turned away from Armagh MOT centre.

Ms Mallon said she had instructed the DVA to “ensure that every effort is made to reach customers” both directly and through the media.

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