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FOLLOW THE MONEY: CALIFORNIA AB 1274

 

The California legislature is at it again with assembly bill 1274 (AB 1274) which would double the period that new cars are exempt from smog testing from four to eight years.

  • Consumers will get hit in the "pocket book", because expensive vehicle emissions repair costs that are currently covered by the manufacturer will fall outside the California and Federal warranty period, driving up costs to consumers.
  • The bill will have a detrimental impact on the environment. High mileage vehicles that have emission related problems will be allowed to operate and pollute the air for an additional two years. This harms our environment and is counterintuitive to laws to clean up the air.
  • Extending the exemption 2 years will reduce the need for smog inspections thus causing shops to drop out of the program which means less choice for consumers and higher costs for smog check inspections.  
  • The bill is unfair to many small businesses that financially invested in the equipment and technician training because they relied on representations made by the state to maintain a strong clean air program. Changing rules midstream is not only unfair but will cause many smog stations to close and lay off employees.

The above bullet points came in a "member action alert" from the Automotive Service Councils of California (ASCCA), of which our company, Del Mar Automotive, is a member.

Son/partner Todd, raised the question as to why?  Why would our state legislature go against their history of protecting the environment with this bill?  We found the answer in the bill's text which imposes an annual $24 "smog abatement fee", in years seven and eight, on all vehicle owners.  That $48 is about equal to what a smog test costs (normally required every two years) so legislators can glibly tell consumers that their cost is the same.

The difference is that AB 1274 takes money that would have gone to smog test shops all over the state and converts it into direct revenue.  Another blow to small business.

Contact your California legislators and tell them to vote no on this blatant money grab!   https://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/

By Allen L Phillips