EQUIPMENT OF VEHICLES
266:59-b Emission Control Equipment.
I. (a) Every motor vehicle driven on the ways of this state which is subject to inspection under this chapter shall be equipped with all of the emission control equipment which was part of that motor vehicle as originally equipped, and such equipment shall be properly connected to prevent excessive emissions. Motor vehicle inspections conducted in accordance with this chapter shall include a visual check for the presence and proper connection of the following equipment on vehicles so equipped:
(1) Catalytic converter.
(2) Gas cap.
(3) Evaporative purge canister.
(4) Positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) valve and properly configured hoses.
(5) Properly connected air injection pump/pulse air systems.
(b) The commissioner of the department of safety, in accordance with applicable federal laws and regulations, and in consultation with the commissioner of environmental services, may adopt rules under RSA 541-A to exempt vehicles from those requirements of this section which would require replacement of parts for which replacements cannot be reasonably obtained.
(c) The commissioner of the department of safety, subject to conditions approved in advance by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and after public hearing and consultation with the commissioner of the department of environmental services and the air pollution advisory committee, and notification of the house science, technology, and energy committee and the senate environment committee, and with the approval of the air pollution advisory committee, may modify the vehicle emission control inspection program by substituting the exhaust gas recirculation system for one or more of the items in subparagraphs I(a)(4) and I(a)(5), provided that the total effect of such change is determined to produce a net environmental improvement.
III. The commissioner, after public hearing and consultation with the commissioner of the department of environmental services and the air pollution advisory committee, and notification of the house science, technology, and energy committee and the senate environment committee, and with the approval of the air pollution advisory committee, shall adopt rules under RSA 541-A, which require motor vehicles equipped with an on-board diagnostic system meeting federal EPA OBD II (On-Board Diagnostics) standards that are driven on the ways of this state and which are subject to inspection under this chapter, after a date specified by the commissioner, to be tested for OBD II indications of failures as a component of the inspection. Vehicles subject to this requirement shall include model year 1997 and newer diesel-powered motor vehicles and model year 1996 and newer motor vehicles powered by any other fuel source. To the extent allowed by EPA OBD II policy, OBD II data may be substituted for visual and functional tests required by paragraph I.
IV. This section shall not apply to vehicles 20 or more model years old which shall be determined by subtracting the model year of the vehicle from the calendar year in which the inspection occurs or to vehicles determined by the director to be rare or historically significant.
V. If a vehicle fails the EPA OBD II test and it passes all other inspection requirements under this chapter, then it shall be issued a temporary waiver that permits its operation for 60 days from the date of issuance, in order to make required repairs. A vehicle shall be eligible for only one such waiver during its inspection cycle. The department shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, that have the effect of establishing the broadest possible waivers for consumers consistent with 40 C.F.R. sections 51.350 through 51.373. It is the intent of the legislature to provide appropriate waivers to persons for whom the making of OBD II repairs would constitute economic hardship. The committee established in paragraph VII shall make recommendations for such waivers and the department shall consider such recommendations during the rulemaking process required by this paragraph.
VI. If a vehicle fails the EPA OBD II test and the owner fails to make the required repairs, the owner may not sell the vehicle without informing the purchaser of the OBD II failure. If the owner fails to inform the purchaser of the OBD II failure, the purchaser shall be entitled to a refund of the purchase price and reasonable attorney's fees.
VII. (a) There is established an OBD II testing advisory committee. The committee shall be composed of the following:
(1) Two representatives, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives.
(2) One senator, appointed by the president of the senate.
(3) The director of the division of motor vehicles of the department of safety, or designee.
(5) The commissioner of environmental services, or designee.
(6) One member nominated by the New Hampshire Automobile Dealers Association and appointed by the governor.
(b) Members' terms shall be coterminous with their terms in office, except that the member appointed pursuant to subparagraph (a)(6) shall serve at the discretion of the appointing authority.
(c) The committee shall:
(1) Review and make recommendations on any contracts between the state and any private entities relating to OBD II testing.
(2) Review program operations on any contracts between the state and any private entities relating to OBD II testing.
(3) Make recommendations for statutory and rules changes to the amounts and types of repair waivers granted in the OBD II testing program.
(4) Meet at least annually and more often as needed.
(5) Submit a report at least biennially or as needed to the governor, senate president, and speaker of the house of representatives by November 1st of odd-numbered years on the operation of the motor vehicle inspection and emissions testing program.
Source. 1998, 207:5. 2004, 245:1-4. 2005, 296:3, eff. Aug. 11, 2005. 2014, 236:1, 2, eff. Sept. 19, 2014. 2016, 35:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2017. 2018, 49:2, III, eff. July 14, 2018. 2020, 37:27, eff. July 29, 2020.