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I guess the DMV didn’t get the memo about zero emissions vehicles not producing any, well, emissions. It turns out that, starting this year, some older hybrids began needing smog checks, and it’s not as crazy as it sounds.
According to the Automobile Club of America (www.aaa.org), new technology now makes it possible to test hybrids’ fuel component and emission controls. These systems experience the same wear-and-tear that occurs in traditional gasoline-engine vehicles and causes pollution.
Hybrid vehicles that are six model-years and newer are exempt from the biennial Smog Check requirement, and hybrids that are four model-years and newer are exempt from the change-of-ownership Smog Check requirement. If a motorist brings a hybrid into California from out of state, they will need to have the vehicle smog tested.
“Once the hybrid passes the test, a smog certificate is issued and a registration sticker can be obtained,” according to Dave Skaien, the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Approved Auto Repair Program Manager. “The Smog Check will ensure that any hybrid emission-related problems are isolated and repaired so that these vehicles’ emissions remain low.”
The only question is where will they put the rod for the tailpipe emissions test? (Answer: obviously, hybrids are exempt from this test).