2023 Smog Check Performance Report

As required by Assembly Bill 2289 (Eng, Chapter 258, Statutes of 2010), the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) released the 2023 Smog Check Performance Report (SCPR) on July 1, 2023. The 2023 SCPR provides an analysis of the biennial cycle of Smog Check inspections performed in calendar years 2021 and 2022. Drawing from data collected from BAR’s Roadside Inspection Program and comparing it to Smog Check station inspection data collected during the same timeframe, the report evaluates the overall effectiveness of the Smog Check Program.

The 2023 SCPR results show continued improvements in the Smog Check Program, reflecting BAR’s ongoing efforts to advance the quality of Smog Check services through licensee education and promotion of the STAR program while also reducing fraudulent inspections through robust enforcement strategies. Key highlights from the report noted that:

  • The overall roadside Smog Check failure rate decreased from 16% in 2022 to 14% in 2023 while station Smog Check failure rates declined from 10% to 9% during this same time. The narrowing difference between roadside and station Smog Check failure rates indicates an improvement in overall fleet maintenance and emission control systems, and a decline in fraudulent inspections.

  • Vehicles certified by STAR stations or stations in good standing had lower roadside inspection failure rates compared to vehicles certified by stations with subsequently suspended or revoked licenses.

  • Vehicles certified by stations with higher Follow-up Pass Rates (FPRs) failed at a lower rate at roadside compared to those with lower FPRs.1

  • The estimated additional air quality benefits that could be achieved through the Smog Check Program if all stations performed similarly to the highest performing stations was calculated to be a reduction of 56 tons per day of smog-producing emissions.

The 2023 SCPR also includes a summary of vehicle emissions inspection and maintenance programs nationwide, an independent review of the report’s underlying analyses and findings, and specific recommendations for Smog Check Program improvements based upon industry best practices. As specified with the adoption of AB 1263 (Berman, Chapter 681, Statutes of 2023), the SCPR will now be compiled every other year to align with biennial Smog Check inspection requirements and will, therefore, provide a more accurate assessment of the effectiveness of the Smog Check Program. The next report will be published in 2025.

The 2023 SCPR and information on the annual report provided to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency were presented at the July 2023 BAR Advisory Group meeting. A webcast of the presentation is available on the BAR Advisory Group webpage.

1 Follow-up Pass Rate (FPR) is a performance measure that determines if vehicles previously certified are passing current inspection cycles at higher-than-expected rates. An FPR score is assigned to both Smog Check stations and inspectors and is based on the current inspection cycle test results of vehicles compared to previous certifications.

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