In Germany, more than one in six elevators has serious defects, according to TÜV Rhineland.
Of the 544,000 elevators the association inspected nationwide last year, more than 80,000 were found to have serious and even dangerous defects. In the Rhine region, one in eight elevators had defects.
TÜV inspectors accordingly shut down just short of 2,000 elevators (1,965) last year, Spiegel Online reported on Monday.
“The technical condition of these elevators was so precarious that there was danger to life and limb,” said Thomas Pfaff, a TÜV Rhineland business manager.
Older elevators typically experience problems such as worn-out suspension cables as well as locks and emergency call systems which no longer function.
High testing standards ensure that accidents are avoided, the association states, adding that older elevators are inspected against a catalogue to see whether their conditions deviate and if they pose a danger when in use.
Lifts across Germany must be inspected annually by TÜV. Operators and even those who use elevators can check whether their stickers are expired or missing.
Since 2015, it has been mandatory for elevators to have a sticker which clearly indicates the next date it is due to be inspected.