NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Emissions Testing Not Needed

December 22, 1998

Some automotive experts contend states are just robbing motorists of their time and money by requiring them to bring their cars in periodically for emissions testing.

Here's why:

  • Since at least the mid-1980s, cars and trucks have been equipped with computer-controlled anti-pollution hardware -- which is largely self-policing.
  • Current model-year cars and trucks are equipped with sophisticated On-Board Diagnostics systems.
  • Tampering with the systems is no longer an issue since cars and trucks built since the 1980s were all designed with emission equipment as a part of their drivetrains -- and removal or tampering would interfere with their driveability.
  • Those few cars that are 19-years-old or over and still on the road do not pose a threat to the environment -- since they constitute less than 5 percent of currently registered vehicles.

Source: Eric Peters, "Motorist Unfriendly Emissions Test Scam," Washington Times, December 22, 1998.


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