The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

17 April 2007

It's really not easy being green

For some reason, Toyota Priuses aren't passing Georgia emissions testing.

Well, actually it's this reason:

When the Prius is set to idle at 2,500 rpm on the tester, it does what it's supposed to do. It shuts off the engine to save fuel. Georgia's pre-hybrid equipment issues a failing grade because of an incomplete test.

Instead of just acknowledging its system is outdated, Georgia still requires Prius owners to pay the $25 testing fee for an "aborted test." That allows them to get a failed certificate from the tester which car owners must take to one of five waiver centers (M-F, 8 am-4:30 pm) to be granted permission to buy a license plate.

Georgia apparently requires testing in only 13 of 159 counties: Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Paulding and Rockdale. If nothing else, this would explain why there are only five waiver centers.

Reportedly, there is a special diagnostic mode in which the Prius can be tested for emissions in this manner. Did Toyota not tell anyone in Atlanta? Or did it not occur to anyone on the "Clean Air Force" to ask?

Posted at 8:21 AM to Driver's Seat

If updating the testing criteria for the Prius doesn't lead also to more counties being added to the emissions area, I'll be very surprised. No matter how clean the air gets, the goalposts always get moved in such a way as to generate more red tape for more people to deal with.

Posted by: McGehee at 10:26 AM on 17 April 2007