Nov. 28, 2007: Source – Atlanta Journal Constitution

Prius

In an ironic twist, one of the cleanest running cars on the road, the Toyota Prius, is having trouble passing the Georgia emissions test. This problem was first reported in April 2007. Prius owners have become dumbfounded and frustrated over the ordeal. The same goes for Georgia emissions testing officials who discovered the glitch that causes the vehicle to fail the test every time.

According to Tim Smith, the program manager for the vehicle emissions and inspection program at the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the software used by the testing program is incompatible with the Prius. But this is basically an interface issue, and is expected to be resolved early next year. In an effort to complete testing, officials attempted a secondary approach, called the two-speed idle test (TSI), which captures and reads tailpipe exhaust. But this system requires the car to be able to idle with the engine running, something the eco-friendly Prius won’t always do. So again, the test aborts and fails.

After discovering that the TSI will not work in this situation, state officials have developed a 10-step procedure to work around the idling problem, but this method is difficult to execute and requires more practice on the part of the test facilitators.

With some Priuses striking out on all three fronts, owners of the car are on edge. State officials are now scrambling to resolve this issue quickly. "We are concerned about this becoming a larger problem," said Smith. "We expect a lot more of these vehicles to show up at these stations."

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