California Enacts Law to Create Centralized Emissions Testing Locations for Older Vehicles

By the SEMA Washington, D.C., office

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law a SEMA-Emissionssupported bill (AB 1263) that, among other provisions, creates a centralized testing network for older vehicles, ensuring access to necessary emissions testing at a reasonable cost to the consumer.

Owners of vehicles subject to the state's smog check (model-year '76 and newer) but not equipped with an OBD-II often struggle to find testing facilities that offer the required BAR-97 emissions test at a reasonable price. The BAR-97 test is performed using a dynamometer, which is a device that simulates road conditions by allowing the vehicle's wheels to rotate while stationary. The test also involves connecting a sensor to the vehicle's exhaust system to measure the emission levels. The BAR-97 test is an older testing technology that has been gradually phased out in favor of newer, more advanced testing methods such as onboard diagnostic (OBD) testing and emissions equipment inspections. As a result, some independent testing stations may have discontinued the BAR-97 test in favor of these newer methods, which are often quicker and easier to administer.

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