Back in April, it became well known that hybrid cars were failing emissions tests in Georgia. The problem was not with the emissions being spouted by the hybrids, but instead it was a problem with the testing equipment (and testers).
For the first time, 2004 Toyota Prius owners were being asked to bring in their cars for emissions testing. Despite having three years to prepare (new cars are given a pass for the first three years), emissions tests were not set up correctly for the Prius.
There are two testing options. First, the testing computer interfaces with the computer inside the car and reads off the emissions history. Unfortunately, the software to do so is incompatible with the Prius.
The second test requires the car to idle at 2,500 rpm. Unfortunately, hybrid cars shut the gas engine off when the car is stopped (unless it is attempting to recharge the battery). So, the testing machines are failing the hybrid.
So, state officials set up a 10 point checklist for hybrids.
"It's not as simple as they say it is," said Adam Kyle, an emissions tester at a Chevron station in Dunwoody... "You've got 60 seconds to get it to go right." (Source: AJ via HybridCars)So, Prius are still failing the test. Which means, people are still paying $25 for the failed tests. All is not lost, however. You can still get an emissions waiver, which allows you to get your Georgia tag.
Testers are hoping a fix will be in place next year for the software to interface with the Prius. Hopefully, it will be in place for other hybrids, too.