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REVISIONS PROPOSED TO VEHICLE INSPECTION AND MAINTENANCE PROGRAMS

Release Date: 09/14/2000
Contact Information:

FOR RELEASE: THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2000


REVISIONS PROPOSED TO VEHICLE
INSPECTION AND MAINTENANCE PROGRAMS

In an effort to provide states with greater flexibility, the Agency is proposing to amend the inspection and maintenance (I/M) regulations and on-board diagnostic (OBD) testing requirements for passenger vehicles. The OBD system is designed to trigger the “check engine” light if the vehicle’s pollution control devices are not functioning properly. OBD systems are required on all passenger vehicles built beginning with model year 1996. To ensure that all the components of the vehicle’s emission control system are functioning properly, the Clean Air Act requires that all I/M programs include a check of the OBD computer as part of the routine inspection. EPA is proposing to delay that mandatory check of the OBD system for one year, until January 1, 2002, and allow states to replace traditional I/M tests with OBD system checks on model year 1996 and newer vehicles. This will give states time to educate the public and the testing and repair industries concerning this important new emission control technology. EPA’s proposal is designed to help states maximize the cost effectiveness and efficiency of their I/M programs, while still achieving the air quality benefits of the program. The proposal will be published in the Federal Register soon and is available electronically via the EPA Internet site at: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/im.htm.

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