SB-1239, the Smog Exemption bill, received a unanimous vote in favor by the Appropriations Committee. This is the bill that would exempt older cars from smog checks. Even though it affects a relatively small number of cars, the pollution impacts would still be considerable. An average of 30% of 1976-1981 vehicles failed smog tests.
The Sierra Club, NRDB, BAAQMD, he Lung Association, and the Coalition for Clean Air have all come out against the bill. They point out that California already provides financial assistance to owners high-polluting older cars. The Coalition for Clean Air also notes that:
the smog check program allows for deterioration of the vehicle’s emission controls over time. To pass smog check, owners of older vehicles simply need to maintain their vehicles.
It is ironic that California is considering this bill at the same time it is going after VW for defeat devices. Passing the bill will really undercut the public health arguments California has made in its case against VW.