Late-model cars would be exempted from vehicle emissions tests in counties that require them in legislation approved by the state Senate.
The bill given approval Thursday night would eliminate pollution control tests on motor vehicles that have either fewer than 70,000 miles on the odometer or are in the three newest model years. Some lawmakers argue emissions tests are unnecessary on newer cars because they pollute less and controls are less likely to malfunction.
Vehicles built in 1996 or later currently must have emissions tests related to federal clean air rules in 48 of the state's 100 counties. Each test costs $16.40 per vehicle.
The bill's fate is unclear. The House would still have to agree to the measure before the Legislature completes its business for the year next week.
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