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Another week of not doing inspections has gas stations and auto-repair shops frustrated

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Gas stations and auto-repair shops that perform motor vehicle inspections say another week of not being able to do them because of an ongoing problem with a Registry of Motor Vehicles vendor is wreaking havoc with their businesses.

Gabriel Elhelou, an inspector at A2Z Auto Repair in Roxbury, said he has had to turn away 250 to 300 vehicle owners since a March 30 cyber-attack on Applus Technologies of Shrewsbury.

“It’s impacted us big time,” Elhelou said. “Most of our income relies on inspections. And for it to happen toward the end of the month — that’s when most people get inspections.”

In a statement on its website last week, the RMV said Applus is in the second phase of a three-phase process required to bring the MA Vehicle Check program back online after a malware attack that forced the company to temporarily shut down the testing program.

“We are encouraged by the very good progress our teams have been making,” the registry said. “However, at this time, stations should not expect to perform inspections until potentially Saturday, April 17.”

“We worry about the financials,” said Nadim Lakkis of Chico’s Sunoco in Cambridge. “The system was hacked, and our banking information is on the system. What information was compromised?”

While that remains unclear, the registry is giving drivers of vehicles with inspection stickers that expired in March and vehicles purchased or registered on or after March 23 until April 30 to obtain an inspection.

Drivers who recently had an inspection rejection and are in the 60-day free retest window will be afforded one extra day for each day the Applus system remains unavailable.

In the meantime, the state’s more than 1,800 vehicle safety inspection and emissions testing stations continue to have to turn people away.

“A lot of people need their cars because they’re going back to work” now that the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic may be over as more and more people get vaccinated, said Richard Baldassari, owner of Richie’s Service Center in Medford.

And although the RMV has asked law enforcement to show discretion in whom to cite for expired inspection stickers, “we’ve had to hold a lot of vehicles we repair because people are afraid to drive them without an up-to-date sticker,” said Michele Repetto, Baldassari’s office manager.

The RMV estimates that there are between 40,000 to 50,000 vehicles that may still have a March sticker and require an inspection once the Appus hack is fixed.

For updates on inspections, visit

Source: on 2021-04-10 18:13:57

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