Memphis: Feds to blame for vehicle inspection change - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis: Feds to blame for vehicle inspection change

Memphis City Council members are fired up over a federal mandate barring vehicles from passing inspection if their "Service Engine Soon" light is on. Memphis City Council members are fired up over a federal mandate barring vehicles from passing inspection if their "Service Engine Soon" light is on.

(WMC-TV) - Memphis City Council members are fired up over a federal mandate barring vehicles from passing inspection if their "Service Engine Soon" light is on.

Council members have been flooded with complaints since the city began failing vehicles if their inspection light is on, but Tuesday they learned they may have no recourse.

"I'm concerned about emissions," said Councilman Lee Harris. "I'm concerned about pollution, but I'm not concerned about engine lights."

Harris said the EPA rule that vehicles fail inspections if their check engine lights are on - is hogwash.

"What we're hearing from constituents is that the check engine light is on because of a malfunction and is not something the City of Memphis should be investigating or even interested in," he said.

Public Services Director Janet Hooks told the council the change is a Federal Clean Air Act standard.

"The state has said if we don't do it, they will step in and do it," Hooks explained.

But Councilman Shea Flinn said Memphis is getting bamboozled.

"This is a shakedown," he said. "This is not a shakedown from the city government. It's a shakedown from your federal government."

Hooks said there's no way around the law and that has Harris concerned for citizens.

"It will cost them a lot of time and a whole lot of money," he said.

Councilwoman Wanda Halbert said it makes no sense that drivers in the suburbs outside Memphis are exempt from inspections altogether.

"Somehow we keep getting ourselves caught in paying for things that other municipalities in this county don't pay for," she said.

Hooks said neighboring municipalities protested back in the 19080's and now they're winning.

"From what I've just heard," she said. "They're putting up a better fight."

Harris said the council may consider filing a protest with the EPA and encouraged citizens to complain to their congressman since this is a federal mandate.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly