I/M Effectiveness with Today's Closed Loop Systems 871103
Analysis of today's closed loop systems shows in-use emission levels - measured using the Federal Test Procedure - greatly reduced from those of vehicles produced in the mid ‘70s. The tailpipe concentration measurements (idle tests) used in I/M programs do not correlate well with in-use emissions from today's vehicles.
I/M tests are not very effective in identifying emission failures and are costly compared to other control strategies. Additionally, I/M programs which do not include adequate vehicle preconditioning increase the number of false failures and cause unnecessary expense. A majority of today's closed loop vehicles have on-board diagnostic systems to identify failures. Interrogating these on-board diagnostic systems, together with parameter inspections, offers a more effective alternative to current I/M programs.