HYBRID Smog Check Inspections are now required
Why are hybrids being brought into the Smog Check Program?
Hybrids are designed to meet strict emission standards and to provide improved fuel economy over conventional vehicles. However, hybrid emission control systems experience the same causes of long-term deterioration affecting other vehicles. Emission control system malfunctions on hybrids can cause emissions to sharply increase. By ensuring that hybrid emission-related problems are identified and then properly repaired, emission levels will remain low over the life of the vehicle.
Since their introduction to the California market in 2000, hybrid vehicles could not be properly tested on the BAR-97 equipment that was introduced in 1997. This equipment could not test the emissions of hybrids as the vehicles would switch into electric mode during an inspection. The new Bureau of Automotive Repair On-Board Diagnostic Inspection System (BAR-OIS), which is based on a visual inspection of emission control components and a scan of the vehicle’s On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) system, has resolved this testing issue.
Which types of hybrids will be required to receive a Smog Check?
All hybrid vehicles will be subject to a Smog Check. Just like traditional gasoline-powered vehicles, hybrid vehicles six model-years and newer are exempt from the biennial Smog Check requirement. Hybrid vehicles four model-years and newer are also exempt from the change-of-ownership Smog Check requirement.