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Liberals Ignore Facts, Introduce Harsh Drive Clean Test

SARNIA, ON – The Liberal government hasn’t let facts get in the way of its latest set of changes to Ontario’s unnecessary Drive Clean program, Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey said today.

In January, less than a month after the Auditor General released a report which found that Ontario’s Drive Clean Program has had little to no impact on the reduction of emissions in Ontario since 2004, the Liberals rushed into use a new inflexible emissions test which has seen failure rates skyrocket.

The Liberals replaced the previous tailpipe test, which is a true measure of emissions, with a computerized test that scans the on-board diagnostics (ODB) systems in vehicles. The switch to this new test means vehicles that would have passed under the old requirements will now receive an automatic fail if the check engine light is on, regardless of the actual emissions output of the vehicle.

“Everyday countless vehicles fail this new test – not because of emissionsrelated problems – but because of a computer error,” said MPP Bailey at Jada Services in Sarnia. “The efficiency standards in place in the province and the emissions technology employed by today’s cars have seen the effectiveness of the Drive Clean program flat line since 2004; the Liberals have re-jigged the Drive Clean test with the sole intent of holding on to the $30 million they collect from this program each year.”

The 2012 report by the Auditor General indicates that the Liberal Government should have begun phasing out the program long ago. The Ministry of the Environment has already acknowledged in a note sent out to car dealers and service shops that many vehicles are failing the new test due to “readiness issues”. The Ministry of the Environment outlines the process to ready your car for the new Drive Clean test on its website as follows:

If your vehicle was recently repaired, or if the battery was disconnected, the information in your vehicle’s built-in computer might not be readable, and the test might not be completed. As a
result, you’ll have to re-take the test and you could be delayed in getting your licence sticker.

A day or two of normal highway and city driving will usually reset your vehicle’s computer and ensure it’s ready for the Drive Clean test.

You can also take your vehicle through a “generic drive cycle”:

Step 1: Make sure the vehicle has been parked for eight hours without a start.
Step 2: Start the engine and let it idle in DRIVE for two-and-a-half minutes with the Air Conditioning (A/C) and rear defroster on.
Step 3: Turn the A/C and rear defroster off. Drive the vehicle for 10 minutes at highway speeds.
Step 4: Drive the vehicle for 20 minutes in stop-and-go traffic.
Step 5: Your drive cycle is complete. You can now go in for your test. Gas tank should be 31/4 to ¾ full. Driver should avoid rapid acceleration.

1988 to 1997 model year vehicles require a different test.

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For more information, contact:
David Donovan | 416-325-1715 | david.donovan@pc.ola.org | www.bobbaileympp.com