SEMA Comments on Vermont Motor Vehicle Inspection Proposal

In comments to a proposed inspection regulation issued by the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles, SEMA supported a provision that would exempt vehicles registered as exhibition vehicles from OBD II requirements. Under state law, an exhibition vehicle is defined as a motor vehicle which is maintained solely for use in exhibitions, club activities, parades and other functions of public interest and which is not used for the transportation of passengers or property on any highway, except to attend such functions. SEMA also recommended that the exhibition vehicle definition be expanded to include a vehicle used for personal recreational travel not to exceed 2,500 miles per year.

SEMA also sought clarification on a section of the proposal that would require the inspector to reject a vehicle if the ball joint wear exceeds manufacturer’s specifications. The proposal does not make clear whether it is referring to the manufacturer of the vehicle or the manufacturer of the ball joint, be it a Tier I original-equipment supplier or an aftermarket product. Further, the proposal gives no objective criteria by which an inspector can deem a specific ball joint to be sufficiently worn as to constitute an inspection failure. Since vehicle manufacturers use different designs of ball joints from a variety of suppliers, the degree of wear allowable can vary from vehicle to vehicle and model year to model year. It is therefore necessary to refer to a given ball joint manufacturer’s service specifications to determine replacement status of joints not fitted with wear indicators. For additional information, contact Steve McDonald at