Two weeks without a working emissions system slows down business at auto repair shops

Connecticut

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The DMV emissions system has been down for two weeks now, and it’s not clear when it will come back. The issue is making things challenging for businesses and confusing for customers.

Usually, the line for emissions testing at Herb’s Automotive in East Hartford is around the corner. But that not been the case for two weeks and that is not good for business.

An East Hartford fixture for over half a century. COVID halted operations for a month in 2020. Flash forward one year, and the technology that allows shops like this to do DMV emissions testing is offline. For two weeks now.

Joe Tatasciore, the owner of Herb’s Automotive, said, “Then we started getting faxes two, three days later on what’s actually going on.”

Tatasciore says he was told a ransomware issue is to blame. Connecticut DMV says it has adjusted procedures so people can still register cars without emissions status. But, we haven’t heard when the system will be back. And that means halting the program that brings in 60 to 70 customers a day.

Tatasciore added, “It’s been very lucrative for us, quite frankly. The program’s been great for us over the years. When this happened again. It’s almost like COVID all over again. It went from 70 tests a day to zero.”

Tatasciore is still paying employees who work on the program despite zero business. Meanwhile, customers aren’t sure when to come back.

“Constantly on the phone all day with people. Telling them what’s going on.”

And constantly turning away potential customers like Nicole Jones, who drove here from Manchester to support her hometown business.

“There might be a virus and they might be back on Monday. But they don’t know right now. To come back and check with them, so we’ll probably just call,” Jones said.

Connecticut DMV says it has contacted police across the state asking them not to cite drivers with expired emissions tests during this outage.

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