MOT test stock pic for NI storyMOT test stock pic for NI story


Scissor lifts at Northern Ireland MOT centres found to have hairline cracks in new discovery

  • Hairline cracks on 16 vehicle lifts at NI MOT test centres are reported
  • It’s just over four years after Driver and Vehicle Agency found major problem with lifts in province
  • Agency says latest cracks aren’t the same issue
  • All the lifts are still in service and MOT appointments are unaffected
  • Scrutiny committee chairwoman says it poses ‘serious questions’ for infrastructure minister

Time 9:29 am, March 5, 2024

Sixteen vehicle lifts at MOT test centres in Northern Ireland have been found to have small hairline cracks.

It follows DUP MLA Deborah Erskine raising concerns at reports of cracks in the equipment during an Assembly sitting yesterday and comes just over four years after MOT tests for cars and light vehicles were suspended when signs of cracking were found by the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) in lifts.

That led to tens of thousands of MOT tests being cancelled and the lifts being replaced, but the DVA said no MOT appointments had been affected by the new discovery and all lifts were still in service.

It added that the latest cracks ‘are not the same issue as the cracks identified in scissor lifts at the end of 2019’.

Erskine, who chairs the Assembly scrutiny committee for the Department for Infrastructure, raised the matter during members’ statements.

She said the latest cracks posed ‘serious questions’ for infrastructure minister John O’Dowd, who is due to appear before her committee tomorrow.

‘The department spent £1.8m to replace 52 of the 55 lifts when cracks appeared on the same lifts in 2019,’ she in a statement.

‘Overall, it cost the department nearly £4m in terms of backlogs to the MOT testing system. How have we managed to reach the same situation again?

‘I will be asking the DVA to provide the most up-to-date information to the infrastructure committee and ensure everything is being done to assure the public and employees.’

A DVA spokesperson said: ‘The Driver and Vehicle Agency can confirm that their equipment provider has identified small hairline cracks in the welds of the main scissor bushing of 16 lifts across the test centre network.

‘Independent inspectors have reported their findings on the hairline cracks as category C, which is their lowest category. These hairline cracks are not the same issue as the cracks identified in scissor lifts at the end of 2019, early 2020.

‘The DVA has robust maintenance arrangements in place to ensure all vehicle testing equipment operates safely and effectively. All lifts remain in service and MOT appointments have not been affected.

‘The inspection frequency for the affected scissor lifts has been increased and the equipment provider is assessing the cause of the hairline cracks and their findings will inform any remedial action required.’

Stock image used for illustrative purposes

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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