California just became a tougher place for car enthusiasts to live.
The California Air Resources Board has instituted a new policy for Smog Checks beginning July 19, 2021 that will mean cars not running the factory software or a CARB-approved tune will fail the test.
According to CARB:
Before your vehicle will pass a Smog Check, you must have the vehicle’s software restored to the OEM software version. Once the software is restored, have your vehicle reinspected by a licensed Smog Check station. If you believe the vehicle’s software is already OEM or CARB-approved and yet your vehicle failed Smog Check, schedule an inspection with the Smog Check Referee. If you unknowingly purchased a vehicle with illegally modified software, you may file a complaint with BAR.
We heard about this new policy in a post this week by Road & Track, who say tuning your car is one of the easiest and most effective mods you can do to a car, one that often provides measurable results, especially if the car in question is turbocharged.
Since California has long had tough emissions policies, this latest policy is right in line. While the number of cars affected is likely to be low, apparently the state believes there are enough of these vehicles that are increasing emissions enough to try and keep them under control.
One person responding to the Road & Track post suggested the following compromise:
I say challenge the tuner to achieve power and efficiency without increasing emissions just like manufacturers do to get their cars sold in California. Probably only the biggest tuning shops will invest in CARB-approved tuning, but would be a good balance of performance and environmentalism. Another solution would be to exempt those vehicles that do less than x miles per 2-year cycle. Maybe 10000 miles?
We wonder just how effective this policy will be, since it’s likely that owners will switch their cars to OEM settings for the few minutes of testing, then just switch it back once they get home. How will that do anything to save the environment?
What’s your opinion of this new rule?
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