Where is the exact law that states only OEM cats are allowed on Priuses in California?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by GoaVsGoat, Jan 6, 2020.

  1. GoaVsGoat

    GoaVsGoat New Member

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    I read on this forum Toyota Priuses in the state of California require the oem catalytic converter to pass smog, even if the aftermarket part suffices for CARB standard labeling. However, no sources were cited. Does anyone know where these people got their information? I have been unable to find any law that distinctly defines this as the case.
     
  2. richard203

    richard203 Member

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    i think you need oem cat to pass smog because there is no aftermarket company cat is carb legal in ca.
     
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  3. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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  4. Aegean

    Aegean Active Member

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    How lucky we are in Northern Virginia! Both my 2006 Prius are exempt from emissions tests. However, this past year they took away our privilege to drive a hybrid in the HOV lanes.
     
  5. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    #5 JimboPalmer, Jan 7, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
  6. Elektroingenieur

    Elektroingenieur Senior Member

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    I’m not sure what “aftermarket part suffices for CARB standard labeling” means, in this context.

    As I explain below, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) approves (exempts, in their jargon) aftermarket catalytic converters only for specific vehicle applications, but as far as I know, none has been approved (exempted) for Prius cars. See ARB’s Aftermarket Catalytic Converter Database page, and their general information on Aftermarket Catalytic Converters. It’s the absence of aftermarket choices, rather than a blanket prohibition, that means that only a Toyota Genuine catalytic converter is allowed to be installed.

    When I discussed this topic a few days ago, I cited the November 2017 edition of the Smog Check Manual (PDF), issued by the Bureau of Automotive Repair, the state government agency responsible for the Smog Check program, and I mentioned pages 15 and 50, which give the requirements for inspecting catalytic converters.

    The Manual is published as a separate document, but it is an official regulation, adopted after notice-and-comment rulemaking; as it states on the second page, “This manual is incorporated by reference in Section 3340.45, Title 16, of the California Code of Regulations.” That section, in turn, cites several statutes, including California Health & Safety Code section 44002, which gives the Department of Consumer Affairs the authority for “developing and implementing the motor vehicle inspection program,” and section 44012, relating to test requirements; see especially subdivision (f), relating to the visual check.

    Separate from the Smog Check program, the basic law on vehicle emissions tampering is California Vehicle Code section 27156. Subdivision (c) (read with sections 40000.1 and 42001.14) makes it a crime to “install [etc.] any device [...] that alters or modifies the original design or performance” of the emission controls, but subdivision (h) exempts alterations for which ARB has made certain findings.

    California Health & Safety Code sections 39600 and 39601 give ARB the authority to adopt regulations, and those for aftermarket catalytic converters are in Section 2222, Title 13, of the California Code of Regulations, subsections (h) and (i). Subsection (i), by the way, is where they prohibit installation, sale, etc., of “used, recycled, or salvaged” catalytic converters.

    As with the Smog Check Manual, the details appear in a separate document, “California Evaluation Procedures for New Aftermarket Catalytic Converters” (PDF), in which section (j), page 20, states, “New aftermarket catalytic converters exempted by ARB may be marketed, sold, and used in California, but only for the vehicle applications listed by the manufacturer in the application for exemption for that catalytic converter.”

    This is, of course, just general information; I encourage you to ask a lawyer if you need specific advice.
     
  7. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    This is awesome... Thanks for taking the time to write this all out in one spot so it easier to explain/process. I grew up in California and compared to the smaller states to the north their bureaucracy is so vast! Sure hope all the tens of thousands of future cat theft victims in California get some relief from this undue burden of repair costs equal to the value of one of the state's most fuel efficient cars of the past 2 decades. Too many Prius are being taken off the road for good because of this problem that could quickly be rectified if there was better leadership. CALL YOUR CONGRESSPERSON!
     
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  8. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    The HOV hybrid ban was nationwide in favor of plug-ins which are still allowed on HOV (if local paws permit).

    This year new in Virginia we pay a HUF tax (registration penalty) for driving cars that achieve in excess of 25 MPG, shades of Blazing Saddles.
     
  9. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    THAT is ONE movie that I thought would NEVER be cited in PC! :eek:
     
  10. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    Regarding the CARB requirement of OEM cat converters, seems like Ca elected officials need to address the issue of stolen cat converters and the cost and availability of replacement. I sometimes write to assembly person Bloom out there,but I am so far away. They need bigger penalties for the crime, tracing of stolen cats at the recycling plants, and allowance for alternate cat replacements.
     
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  11. Jeff606

    Jeff606 Junior Member

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    My California Touring Edition:
    I bought my 2009 Prius Touring Edition new in March of 2009. I replaced the cat @ 2014 when the car had 200K miles. I bought a new Toyota cat for $1750 and my garage charged me $100 to take off the old one and put the new one on. I foolishly let the mechanic keep the old one. On February 28 of 2021 this cat was stolen overnight while parked in front of my house. My insurance determined my car a total loss. They determined the value as $4548, up from around $4100 when they thought it was a regular Prius. Mileage almost 375K. The thieves did minor damage to the fender and driver door- repairs were up near $4100, including a new catalytic converter. The insurance is also paying tax and title transfer less a $100 deductible, my net check for the car is $5165.69.
     
  12. Socal_Prius

    Socal_Prius Junior Member

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    Are you not considering buying it back and repairing the cat? It has already had a full life (375k!) but given you bought it new it seems like it may hold some value to you if you've been here since 2012.

    Where are you located, the OEM may not be necessary where you live and thus could make it to 400k for minimal costs if you can buy it back for a reasonable price from the insurance company, who is more than likely going to auction it off or junk it.

    A new Prius or Mirai lacks the appeal to me beyond the massive rebates in CA that these 2d gen have for some reason. It's my GFs car but I like it's quirkiness more and more the longer we've had it.

    I test drove a Mirai when I went to the local Toyota dealership this week and it felt hollow, James May said it felt like a Bentley GT to him which I just didn't get at all. I have a F10 BMW M5 that I'm kind of getting over these days so Hydrogen looked interesting given the rebates, they said it would be 20k out the door which I think I could get in a private sale, but I just didn't like it.

    I still have yet to drive a 2021 Prime which is really not an option given it's lack of range, but would be given carpool access.
     
  13. Priusjames

    Priusjames Member

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    There’s a new law in town...in April 2021 CARB approved some aftermarket cats for Prii to be sold/installed inside California! These appear to be *new* models, not the ones currently/already CARB approved for the 49 other states. I could be wrong on any/all of this, of course, it’s just the best I’ve been able to discover.

    Executive Order D-193-151 covers the exemption. I’ve tried to link to the EO on other pages and it’s funky, so the only reliable way to see it is to click the link from inside the results page when you search the CARB pages for approved aftermarket catalytic converters here:
    Aftermarket Catalytic Converter Database


    Here is a screen shot of results for my 2006 Prius, you can see the link to the Executive Order in the results, and those links work: 3A3BD830-6E60-4556-9CA4-31B29DAAFBE0.jpeg
     
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  14. Elektroingenieur

    Elektroingenieur Senior Member

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    As far as I know, the relevant laws and regulations haven’t changed. A manufacturer (Magnaflow) developed a new series of catalytic converters and submitted the necessary test data to CARB, which recently granted approval (exemption) for their use on certain Prius cars.
    There’s no such thing: all CARB approvals (exemptions) are valid in California. I assume what you’re referring to are catalytic converters that have not been approved (exempted) by CARB, but that are sold in other states for use as replacements on vehicles that were originally designed to meet California regulations.
     
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  15. Priusjames

    Priusjames Member

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    I am saying that it is now going to be legal to buy/ship/install/use certain specific catalytic converters in Prius cars in the state of California, where it was not legal to do so until now...fancy words aside.
     
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  16. Elektroingenieur

    Elektroingenieur Senior Member

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    We already knew that, thanks to @fullylaced1. The main questions now are the availability and price of the new products.
    The “fancy words” are important for readers who want to understand how the regulatory scheme works, the topic of this thread.
     
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  17. Priusjames

    Priusjames Member

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    Point taken, thanks!
     
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  18. Rmay635703

    Rmay635703 Senior Member

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    What happens if neither the OEM or aftermarket are available?
     
  19. Elektroingenieur

    Elektroingenieur Senior Member

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    In principle, you’d use the Parts Locator Service. When they also can’t find a replacement catalytic converter, they would issue a Limited Parts Exemption, after which the vehicle could be inspected and passed at a referee center. See also this answer in CARB’s “Frequently Asked Questions: New Aftermarket Catalytic Converters Installation Requirements” (PDF):

    Q. What if none of the manufacturers makes the catalytic converter for the vehicle of interest?

    A. This is becoming rare; however, in a worst case scenario, the owner can apply for a waiver from BAR, if nothing is available and the vehicle is due for registration.
     
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  20. ZTE

    ZTE Junior Member

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    May be worth considering if you have an older vehicle.
     
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