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U.S. Goverment Shutdown Will Delay Emissions Checks

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On: Sat, Apr 9, 2011 at 9:30AM | By: Tim Healey

U.S. Goverment Shutdown Will Delay Emissions Checks

If the federal government shuts down at midnight on Saturday, emissions checks and safety probes will be delayed. The EPA will stop certifying that 2012 vehicles and fuels meet federal emission standards, and the Department of Transportation will stop making rules and performing safety inspections.

If the government shuts down, that means up to 800,000 non-essential workers could be furloughed.

Interestingly, one of the items that is holding up negotiations between Democrats and Republicans is a Republican-led proposal to keep the EPA from setting pollution standards on vehicles.

This does not likely mean that drivers will get to put off emissions tests for their vehicles, since those are usually managed at the state, and not federal, level. But a shutdown would slow proposals for new safety rules based on Toyota's unintended acceleration troubles last year.

What this means for the average driver is that very little will change, especially if a shutdown is short. But for suppliers, automakers, and others in the industry, the effects may be felt. With emissions and safety checks on hold, it will be harder for companies to do business.

For its part, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it will call back workers if a major safety issue arises.

These are strange times, and even the automotive industry isn't immune.


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