Getting Answers: local auto shops still seeking reimbursement after 2021 RMV outage | News


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WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) — A Western Mass News viewer reached out to us with concerns. The auto body shop where she works is still waiting to get reimbursed for business lost during the nationwide motor vehicle inspection system outage nearly a year ago.

“We did lose quite a few inspection stickers, a couple hundred dollars worth, probably a couple thousand,” said Affordable Auto Glass customer service representative Sarah Santos.

A malware attack on Applus Technologies shut down motor vehicle inspections nationwide last March and impacted the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles system. Inspections resumed for most local auto shops on April 17 after nearly three weeks of being shut down, but not without a significant loss in business.

Santos reached out to Western Mass News about the impact this is having where she works.

“Unfortunately, we did lose customers. Maybe they found another inspection station or somewhere that could get them in sooner right when they did open back up, so we did end up losing them,” Santos explained.

Affordable Auto Glass in West Springfield is one of the local shops that said they lost business during the outage and are still waiting to receive a reimbursement.

“I have been researching it for the past year and have found nothing. No news articles, just going back to when they announced that they would be reimbursed and after that nothing at all,” Santos noted.

That original promise of reimbursement came from MassDOT last April and said:

“Applus must compensate inspection station owners for each day that work stations were not operational during defined business hours.”

They added that the company would additionally compensate inspection stations that were unable to reopen on April 17.

However, Santos said her shop never received the money and taking a hit like this during the pandemic has made things even more challenging.

“They just dropped the ball on it, like forget about it. Nobody is going to say anything or do anything. Like I said, for the past year, it’s been on the back of my mind. We missed out on a whole month. That’s a lot of money. When you’re a small business that could be used on utilities or something. We need that money,” Santo said.

We have reached out to both the MassDOT and Applus Technologies for an updated status on reimbursements for Affordable Auto Glass and other local shops who lost business during the outage, but have not yet heard back.

Copyright 2022. Western Mass News (WGGB/WSHM). All rights reserved.

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