Navigation

RULES AND REGULATIONS

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

[67 PA. CODE CH. 175]

Vehicle Equipment and Inspection

[33 Pa.B. 5823]

   The Department of Transportation (Department), Bureau of Motor Vehicles, under 75 Pa.C.S. §§ 4103, 4107, 4702 and 6103, amends Chapter 175 (relating to vehicle equipment and inspection) to read as set forth in Annex A.

Purpose of the Chapter

   The purpose of Chapter 175 is to implement 75 Pa.C.S. Part IV (relating to vehicle characteristics), which establishes minimum standards for vehicle equipment and performance and makes unlawful the sale and use of items which do not comply with these standards.

Purpose of the Final-Form Rulemaking

   The purpose of the final-form rulemaking is to ensure that all vehicles registered in this Commonwealth are equipped with appropriate exhaust emission control systems as required by State and Federal law. Section 4107 of 75 Pa.C.S. (relating to unlawful activities) makes it unlawful for persons to willfully and intentionally remove or render inoperative any item of vehicle equipment which was required to be installed at the time of the vehicle's manufacture. See 75 Pa.C.S. § 4107(b). The Clean Air Act (act) (42 U.S.C.A. §§ 7401--7671q) and the regulations promulgated thereunder, 40 CFR Parts 51 and 85 (relating to regulations for preparation, adoption and submittal of implementation plans; and control of air pollution from mobile sources), require vehicle manufacturers to install the emission control equipment, which is the subject of this final-form rulemaking. As applied in this Commonwealth, other provisions of the act provide for the testing of the required vehicle emissions equipment in 25 counties in this Commonwealth. However, there is currently no provision in Department regulations requiring inspection for even the presence of the required equipment in the remaining 42 counties in this Commonwealth under which to ensure that vehicle owners are in compliance with 75 Pa.C.S. § 4107(b) and that the equipment has not been removed or rendered inoperative. The final-form rulemaking provides for an inclusion in the safety inspection regimen of a visual inspection for the presence of the required equipment in vehicles registered in the counties not subject to emissions testing.

   The final-form rulemaking also eliminates the requirement that inspection stations forward original official inspection report sheets to the Department and retain duplicate copies in station files. The final-form rulemaking requires only retention of the original official inspection report sheets in the station files.

Summary of Comments and Changes

   Comments were received from the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC), the House and Senate Transportation Committees, the Specialty Equipment Market Association and members of the public. Concern was raised that while some classes of vehicles are exempt from inspection of the vehicle's emission control components in the counties in this Commonwealth in which an inspection/maintenance program is conducted under Chapter 177 (relating to emission inspection program), the proposed rulemaking did not exempt any of the classes of vehicles subject to safety inspection from the inspection of the vehicle's emission control components under the amendments to § 175.80 (relating to inspection procedure). In response, the Department has included an exemption for classic and collectible vehicles in the final-form rulemaking. Concern was also raised that the rulemaking required that the emission equipment on the vehicle be original parts. The rulemaking as drafted, however, provides that emission control components may be original vehicle equipment or an equivalent aftermarket replacement component meeting the same standards. Finally, IRRC noted that the amendments to § 175.80 provide that the components ''appear to be'' the correct components for the vehicle configuration, while the standard in Chapter 177 requires that the component ''is'' the correct component for the vehicle configuration. The apparent inconsistency between the regulations has been corrected in this final-form rulemaking.

   More complete discussion of the comments and the Department's response is contained in the ''Comments to Proposed Regulation and Responses'' document which can be obtained from the Department.

Statutory Authority

   Chapter 175 is amended under the authority in 75 Pa.C.S. §§ 4103, 4107, 4702 and 6103.

Persons and Entities Affected

   The amendment to § 175.80 will affect the owners of vehicles registered in the counties in this Commonwealth where there is not an emission inspection program. The amendment will also affect certified safety inspection stations in those counties. Some inspection stations in counties having a current emission inspection program may also be affected to the extent that vehicles registered in neighboring counties where there is not an emission inspection program may seek to have a safety inspection performed at that station.

   The amendment to § 175.42 (relating to recording inspection) will provide paperwork relief to all safety inspection stations.

Fiscal Impact

   The final-form rulemaking may result in additional cost to consumers with vehicles registered in counties where there is not an emission inspection program if a vehicle fails to pass the safety inspection because of these new components of the inspection. Additional market-driven marginal increases in the cost of inspection could also result because of the addition of the new visual inspection procedures. The amendment to § 175.42 will marginally reduce the cost for inspection stations in eliminating postage and duplicating costs associated with sending the original inspection report sheets to the Department and retaining duplicate copies. The fiscal impact of the final-form rulemaking cannot, however, be measured with any precision.

Regulatory Review

   Under section 5(a) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5(a)), on August 12, 2003, the Department submitted a copy of the notice of proposed rulemaking, published at 33 Pa.B. 4175 (August 23, 2003), to IRRC and the Chairpersons of the House and Senate Transportation Committees for review and comment.

   Under section 5(c) of the Regulatory Review Act, IRRC and the Committees were provided with copies of the comments received during the public comment period, as well as other documents when requested. In preparing the final-form rulemaking, the Department has considered all comments from IRRC, the House and Senate Committees and the public.

   Under section 5.1(j.2) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5a(j.2)), on November 19, 2003, the final-form rulemaking was deemed approved by the House and Senate Committees. Under section 5.1(e) of the Regulatory Review Act, IRRC met on November 20, 2003, and approved the final-form rulemaking.

Sunset Provisions

   The Department is not establishing a sunset date for this final-form rulemaking since the amendments are needed to administer provisions required under 75 Pa.C.S. (relating to the Vehicle Code). The Department, however, will continue to closely monitor the regulations for their effectiveness.

Contact Person

   The contact person for technical questions concerning the final-form rulemaking is Kristen Singer, Vehicle Inspection Division, 3rd Floor, Riverfront Office Center, 1101 South Front Street, Harrisburg, PA 17104, krsinger@state.pa.us.

Order

   The Department, acting under the authorizing statutes, orders that:

   (a)  The regulations of the Department, 67 Pa. Code Chapter 175, are amended by amending § 175.42 to read as set forth at 33 Pa.B. 4175 and by amending § 175.80 to read as set forth in Annex A, with ellipses referring to the existing text of the regulation.

   (b)  The Secretary of the Department shall submit this order, 33 Pa.B. 4175 and Annex A to the Office of General Counsel and the Office of Attorney General for approval as to legality and form, as required by law.

   (c)  The Secretary shall certify this order, 33 Pa.B. 4175 and Annex A and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau, as required by law.

   (d)  This order shall take effect upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

ALLEN D. BIEHLER, P. E.,   
Secretary

   (Editor's Note: For the text of the order of the Independent Regulatory Review Commission, relating to this document, see 33 Pa.B. 5885 (November 29, 2003).)

   Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 18-385 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulation.

Annex A

TITLE 67.  TRANSPORTATION

PART I.  DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Subpart A.  VEHICLE CODE PROVISIONS

ARTICLE VII.  VEHICLE CHARACTERISTICS

CHAPTER 175.  VEHICLE EQUIPMENT AND INSPECTION

Subchapter E.  PASSENGER CARS AND LIGHT TRUCKS

§ 175.80.  Inspection procedure.

*      *      *      *      *

   (d)  Visual inspection of emission control system. Vehicles registered in counties where there is not an emission inspection program under Chapter 177 (relating to emission inspection program), shall be checked visually for the presence of emission control components. These components may be original vehicle equipment or an equivalent aftermarket replacement component meeting the same standards. In addition to the exceptions under § 175.4 (relating to vehicles required to be inspected), this subsection does not apply to vehicles registered as collectible or classic motor vehicles as defined in 75 Pa.C.S. § 102 (relating to definitions).

   (1)  The visual inspection shall be performed through direct observation or through indirect observation, using a mirror or other visual aid.

   (2)  Provided that the make and model year of the vehicle would have originally been equipped with the device, reject if one or more of the following apply:

   (i)  The catalytic converter has been removed, disconnected or is the wrong type for the certified vehicle configuration.

   (ii)  Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve has been removed, disconnected or is the wrong type for the certified vehicle configuration.

   (iii)  Positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) valve has been removed, disconnected or is the wrong type for the certified vehicle configuration.

   (iv)  Fuel inlet restrictor has been removed, disconnected or is the wrong type for the certified vehicle configuration.

   (v)  Air pump has been removed, disconnected or is the wrong type for the certified vehicle configuration.

   (vi)  Evaporative control system components have been removed, disconnected or are the wrong type for the certified vehicle configuration.

   (e)  Beneath the vehicle inspection. A beneath the vehicle inspection shall be performed as follows:

   (1)  Inspect the tires and wheels and reject if one or more of the following apply:

   (i)  A tire has two adjacent treads with less than 2/32-inch tread remaining at any point--less than 4/32-inch tread on the front tires of the vehicles having a gross weight in excess of 10,000 pounds.

   (ii)  A tire is worn so that the tread wear indicators contact the road in any two adjacent grooves.

   (iii)  A part of ply or cord is exposed.

   (iv)  A tire has been repaired with a blow-out patch or boot.

   (v)  There is a bump, bulge or separation.

   (vi)  A tire is marked ''not for highway use,'' ''for racing purposes only'' or ''unsafe for highway use,'' or has a similar designation.

   (vii)  There are other conditions or markings reasonably believed to render the tire unsafe for highway use.

   (viii)  A tire has been regrooved or recut below the original tread design depth except special taxicab tires which are identified as having extra undertread rubber.

   (ix)  A tire's tread extends beyond the outer edge of the wheel housing inclusive of fender flares.

   (x)  The tires used on the same axle are not the same size or type of construction--bias, belted, radial or snow.

   (xi)  The wheel nuts or bolts are missing, loose or have improper thread engagement.

   (xii)  The stud or bolt holes are worn out of round.

   (xiii)  Part of the wheel is bent, cracked, welded or damaged so as to affect safe operation of vehicle.

   (xiv)  The rear wheel does not track front wheel in straight ahead position as originally designed.

   (xv)  The wheel base on one side differs from the wheel base on the other side by more than 1 inch, unless the vehicle's design specifications indicate different left and right wheel base dimensions.

   (xvi)  Studded tires are in use after April 15 and before November 1.

   (xvii)  Retreads are on the front axle of a taxi.

   (xviii)  The diameter of duals is not within 3/8-inch of each other.

   (xix)  An axle has missing tires or rims.

   (xx)  A tire makes contact with the body or chassis.

   (xxi)  Spacers over 1/4 inch in thickness are used to increase wheel track.

   (2)  Inspect the steering system and reject if one or more of the following apply:

   (i)  Steering gear box is loose on frame.

   (ii)  Measured movement at the front or rear of a tire is greater than 1/4-inch. Eliminate all wheel bearing movement by applying the service brake; then, with the vehicle raised and wheels in the straight ahead position, grasp the front and rear of the tire and attempt to move the assembly right and left without moving the steering gear. Measure the movement.

   (iii)  The linkage components are not secured with cotter pins or other suitable devices.

   (iv)  The steering stops allow the tire to rub on the frame or chassis parts.

   (v)  The front wheels are incapable of being turned to the right and left steering stops without binding or interference.

   (3)  Inspect the suspension system and reject if one or more of the following apply:

   (i)  The ball joint movement is in excess of the manufacturer's specifications.

   (ii)  The shock absorbers are missing.

   (iii)  The shock absorbers mounting bolts or mounts are broken.

   (iv)  The shock absorbers have severe leakage--not slight dampness.

   (v)  The sway or stabilizer bar is missing or broken.

   (vi)  The coil spring or main leaf spring is broken if originally equipped.

   (vii)  The spring attaching part is loose, badly worn, broken or missing.

   (viii)  Spring shackle kits or blocks are used to lower the suspension of the front of the vehicle.

   (ix)  Spring shackle kits are more than 2 inches over original equipment.

   (x)  Blocks are used on front axle to raise the vehicle.

   (xi)  Blocks used on rear axle exceed 5 inches over original equipment.

   (4)  Inspect the floor and reject if any of the following apply:

   (i)  The floor bed or inner panels have openings which would allow exhaust gases to enter either the occupant compartment or trunk.

   (ii)  The floor bed is not sufficient to hold the weight of the driver, passengers and cargo.

   (5)  Inspect the vehicle frame and reject if one or more of the following apply:

   (i)  The vehicle frame is not in solid condition.

   (ii)  The repairs are made with tape, tar paper or cloth, or are made in another temporary manner.

   (iii)  The frame components are missing, cracked, rotted or broken or are in deteriorated or dangerous condition.

   (iv)  Body mounts do not hold as required.

   (v)  A body mount is broken, cracked, deteriorated or missing.

   (vi)  The difference in the body floor and the top of the frame rail exceeds 4 inches.

   (6)  Inspect exhaust system and reject if one or more of the following apply:

   (i)  The vehicle has no muffler or muffler has external repair.

   (ii)  There are loose or leaking joints.

   (iii)  There are holes, cracks or leaking seams in exhaust system.

   (iv)  There is a muffler cutout or similar device.

   (v)  Part of the exhaust system passes through the occupant compartment.

   (vi)  The elements are not securely fastened with proper clamps and hangers.

   (vii)  The exposed exhaust system does not have adequate heat shield or protective system.

   (viii)  The exhaust does not discharge to the outside edge of the vehicle body, including a truck bed, or as originally designed.

   (7)  Inspect the braking system. Remove at least one front and one opposite rear wheel and reject if one or more of the following apply:

   (i)  The hydraulic hoses or tubing leaks; is flattened, restricted, insecurely fastened or improperly retained; or has exposed cords.

   (ii)  The wheel cylinder leaks, has missing parts, is improperly retained or is not functioning.

   (iii)  The caliper leaks, has missing parts, is improperly retained or is not functioning.

   (iv)  The lining is broken; not firmly attached to shoe; or contaminated with oil, grease or another substance that would affect proper brake operation.

   (v)  There is mechanical damage other than wear.

   (vi)  The inside diameter of the drum is greater than maximum diameter stamped on drum or greater than .090 inch over original drum diameter for unmarked drums.

   (vii)  The disc thickness is less than minimum stamped on assembly or less than manufacturer's specifications.

   (viii)  The bonded linings are less than 2/32 inch at the thinnest point.

   (ix)  The riveted linings are less than 1/32 inch above rivet head at thinnest point.

   (x)  The drums or rotors are scored deeper than .015 inch.

   (8)  Inspect the fuel system and reject if any of the following apply:

   (i)  There is fuel leakage.

   (ii)  Part of the system is not securely fastened.

   (iii)  The system is not properly routed.

   (f)  Road test. Perform road test and reject if one or more of the following apply:

   (1)  The parking brake fails to exhibit normal resistance when an attempt is made to move the vehicle both forward and backward from a stopped position.

   (2)  The automatic transmission will not hold in the park position.

   (3)  The vehicle is not capable of stopping within the maximum stopping distance prescribed in Table I (relating to brake performance) or swerves so that any part leaves the 12-foot lane.

   (4)  There is a malfunction of the braking or steering mechanism, particular shimmy, wander, pull or another questionable operating behavior that affects safe operation of the vehicle.

   (5)  The speedometer does not operate.

   (6)  The odometer does not operate, except on a motor vehicle at least 25 years old.

   (7)  The vehicle cannot be driven both forward and backward.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 03-2265. Filed for public inspection November 26, 2003, 9:00 a.m.]



No part of the information on this site may be reproduced for profit or sold for profit.

This material has been drawn directly from the official Pennsylvania Bulletin full text database. Due to the limitations of HTML or differences in display capabilities of different browsers, this version may differ slightly from the official printed version.


Navigation

webmaster@PaBulletin.com