April 13, 2010
Senate Passes Wirch Bill to Provide
Convenient Emission Testing Locations
Madison –Today, the Senate passed Senate Bill 505 authored by Senator Wirch (D- Pleasant Prairie) that will allow for private dealerships or repair facilities to conduct auto emission testing and give motorists more convenient testing locations. Currently emission inspections are required by the federal government on cars and most trucks in Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Sheboygan, Washington, and Waukesha counties because those areas violate federal standards for ground-level ozone.
“By offering more locations through private facilities, motorists will have convenient and efficient emission testing locations closer to home. I introduced this legislation after the emission testing center in Burlington was closed and constituents raised concerns about traveling longer distances to have their vehicles tested.” said Senator Wirch.
Senate Bill 505, supported by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT), will offer further options for motorists to have their vehicles tested. This legislation will provide motorists with a convenient and efficient way to test their vehicles by providing DOT with the legal authority to contract, subcontract or authorize any person, including a dealership or repair facility, to perform emission tests. This legislation does not affect the vehicle inspection cost for motorists; inspections will continue to be free.
To address consumer protection, this bill includes a provision to require if a vehicle fails an emission inspection, the vehicle dealer or servicer must advise the vehicle owner has the right to select a vendor or the owner’s own choice for the repair to bring their vehicle into compliance.
The equipment used to perform the vehicle emission inspection is a second-generation On Board Diagnostic (OBDII) computer system which plugs into the person’s vehicle. Data from the vehicle uploads directly to the computer without intervention by the tester. This reduces the potential for fraud.
To further ensure consumer protection, this legislation would require the DOT to make information related to vehicle repairs and inspections completed by each vehicle dealer or servicer, available to the public.