WASHINGTON — Legislation introduced in the House of Representatives last week would eliminate a mandate that requires dealers to certify if a new vehicle has an emissions system.
The bill, H.R. 724, removes a requirement from the Clean Air Act that says dealers must present written confirmation to the buyer that a visual inspection has been completed of a new-vehicle’s emissions system.
“There are already enough documents for car and truck buyers to read at the sale of a new vehicle. Eliminating this redundant form makes sense,” said David Westcott, chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), and a Buick, GMC and Suzuki dealer in Burlington, N.C.
Westcott added that documentation of the vehicle’s Clean Air Act compliance can already be found under the hood, on the Internet, in the owner’s manual and in warranty supplements. Additionally, automakers contractually require new-car dealers to perform comprehensive pre-delivery inspections of the vehicle to ensure the emissions system is functioning properly.
The bill in no way alters the original manufacturer warranty if the emissions system of a new vehicle falters and needs to be repaired. On-board diagnostic computers in vehicles perform regular checks to ensure the exhaust system is working properly.
If a problem arises, the vehicle’s “check engine” light would illuminate. Dealers would fix the problem under the vehicle’s warranty at no cost to the consumer, Westcott explained.