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Eco-conscious drivers in Georgia are finding out that the grass isn't necessarily greener on their side of the fence. 2007 is the first year drivers of the 2004 Prius are required to get their cars tested for emissions. You'd think the clean-running hybrid would have no problems breezing through the exam. But, as CNN reports, no matter how many times Georgia drivers try to test one, they all fail. Huh?

Well, sorta. It's more like the Prius refuses to take the test. When the Prius is set to idle at 2,500 rpm on the tester, it does what it's supposed to do. It shuts off the engine to save fuel. Georgia's pre-hybrid equipment issues a failing grade because of an incomplete test.

Instead of just acknowledging its system is outdated, Georgia still requires Prius owners to pay the $25 testing fee for an "aborted test." That allows them to get a failed certificate from the tester which car owners must take to one of five waiver centers (M-F, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.) to be granted permission to buy a license plate. Don't ya love bureaucracy?

As one man in the CNN video says, "They say no good deed goes unpunished." Ain't that the truth.

[Source: CNN]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      As a Georgia Prius driver, I am officially outraged. Unofficially, I think this is so funny and so typical. I bet it would be possible to get the engine to run if you set the heater on maximum fan and max heat, and turn on everything else in the car so the gas engine is almost forced to run.
      • 8 Years Ago
      This must be a county thing. In Cobb county they DO use the OBD-II interface. My Saturn plugs into the computer at the testing station; no tailpipe sniffer.

      Furthermore, it is only certain counties in the state that require emissions testing.
      • 8 Years Ago
      It doesn't get 60 MPG, however it's still suitable for target practice for Jeremy Clarkson.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Er, no. The AC compressor is electric using the traction battery for its power. True, eventually the ICE would be needed to replace the energy used by the AC, but you still get AC functionality without the ICE. As a matter of fact, the electric AC compressor is continuously variable in speed, so on moderately warm days it can run slower to cool just enough to maintain desired temperature, and still control humidity. The classic Prius however did have a mechanical compressor and did require the ICE to run in order to operate the compressor.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Here in Georgia, the emissions testing is done by a quasi-state run organization called the "clean air force". Commonly referred to as the "clean air farce". It is politically correct to test for emissions, but as Florida finally admitted when they ended their testing, not effective since the vast majority of the pollution in the Atlanta area is caused by power plants, industry and trucks which are exempt from the testing. Plus the old beaters that are running around with Antique lic plates are also exempt even though they put out at least 1000 time more pollution than a typical modern car. It will never go away since there are private companies making so much money off of it.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Who the hell still uses tailpipe sniffers on ODB-II equipped cars? Georgia apparently.
      • 8 Years Ago
      This is easy, all you have to do is set the AC to MAX and the engine keeps running. Same for the Mercury Mariner, or the Ford Escape hybrids (Toyota technology).
      • 8 Years Ago
      It's more likely that the computer is failing the test because it is not detecting any emissions at all, and not because the engine is turning off necessarily. A tailpipe probe can't tell if the engine is on or not.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Actually the Prius CAN be set to run its engine. Why nobody from Toyota or a Toyota service station didn't bother to tell anybody is what I want to know.

      It's call the 'inspection mode'. One of its main purposes is just for emissions inspections. Basically you stomp on the accelerator twice while in park, twice while in neutral, then twice again back in park while in Ig-On mode, then put the car in READY mode. Ig-On mode is where the power button is pressed twice without pressing on the brake which is much like having the key in a conventional car in the ON position but not having started the engine yet.

      Once in inspection mode, the ICE will idle at 1000 RPM, then increase to 1500 RPM if you press on the accelerator a bit, then increase to 2500 RPM by pressing the accelerator more than 60%.
      • 8 Years Ago
      FYI, we here in GA actually do NOT use the sniffer on OBDII cars.


      No one stuck a pipe in my Saab 93's exhaust last month when I had my emissions done.....
      • 8 Years Ago
      Is it just me, or did post #20 suggest that the Priuses should be failed because they're from Japan?
      • 8 Years Ago
      I was under the impression that the Prius fails because it doesn't actually run enough to fall within the test limits and therefore fails. It's 'untestable' due to it's lower emissions and therefore fails. So this isn't Toyotas fault, it's either Georgia is so backwards they can't give Prius owners a waiver rather than failing them and requiring them to pay more than owners who pass the test, or that Georgia's government simply is greedy and milking this exception to the rule because it simply benefits them.
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