View Full Version : Abarth failed safety inspection - Boston area

01-22-2014, 11:28 AM
Hi all
Took my 2013 Abarth for renewing the safety sticker (its a massachusetts thing, you have to get it every year). The testing place failed me !! And the reason - "Modified exhaust too loud and no mufflers" WTF

I tried reasoning with the idiot at the station - but he his exact words "I have tested many fiats and none sounded like that" - of course he had tested the regilar 500s....

Anyway called the state motor vehicle deparment and got a really nice lady on the phone. She said my choices were: 1) challenge the test result - this will involve scheduling a visit by a department inspector to the testing station and until that happens I cannot drive the car. The next appointment was 1st week in February.
2) Call the dealership and find out where they take their new cars to inspections and go to that station. I will have to pay the $29 fee again, but it will be faster

Didn't sound like much of a choice - so I did just that. Went to the gas station near the dealership and I was done in 15 min.

Anway just wanted to share this - In case anyone in MA (or somewhere else) needs a yearly 'sticker' - just go to the place the dealer takes the cars. The Abarths are too far and few between that not many folks know that it is supposed to sound this way and not have mufflers.....

Learnt a $29 lesson !!:)

01-22-2014, 11:40 AM
Take it to the dealership they see 2013 the inspectors there usually just slap a new sticker on it and keep moving.

01-22-2014, 11:47 AM
I'm afraid that were I in the same circumstance I would be ticked off enough that I'd take the paperwork after I'd gotten the sticker at the second inspection station and wave it under the nose of the 1st inspector!

Thank goodness they did away with those 'inspections', for the most part, here in the South. They didn't make money for the businesses that did them and because of that they really became ineffective for the purpose they were conceived (safety and emissions).

01-22-2014, 11:50 AM
I would definitley go back to the first place and try and get a refund.

01-22-2014, 11:55 AM
Get the brochure you get at the dealership that shows the underside of a stock abarth that clearly shows no mufflers. I got the brochure when I bought my car used from the previous owner and will have it with me when i get mine inspected. Even though I probably wont have any trouble since ive been taking my car there for years.

01-22-2014, 11:59 AM
We used to have a silly inspection required in KY. I took my Abarth-Simca 1300 in for its inspection. He wanted to put it on the rack to inspect the exhaust system- I opened the engine cover, showed him the 4 into 2 header with expansion chamber and megaphone outlet- That satisfied him until it was time to get the mileage. It had no speedometer! I told him N/A would work, and it did!

01-22-2014, 12:01 PM
That is weird. Apparently the inspector failed to notice all of the OEM stamping on the exhaust pipes indicating that it's a original part. What a dope.

Robert Nixon
01-22-2014, 01:00 PM
so did he just fail it because it didn't meet the check block for "muffler", or did he measure the decibels output with a device that said it was too loud? Either way, as mentioned above, wow!

01-22-2014, 01:16 PM
This is absolutely ridiculous. I'd demand my money back or a revision after returning with proof of your claim. As pointed out above, try and find some dealership literature pointing out the nature of the stock exhaust and show them the harm of their ignorance.

01-22-2014, 02:07 PM

01-22-2014, 05:59 PM
http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b276/filmgirl84/tumblr_lh18lyhEF41qa2qmc.gif (http://media.photobucket.com/user/filmgirl84/media/tumblr_lh18lyhEF41qa2qmc.gif.html)

01-22-2014, 06:48 PM
He is working on a TSA job next.

01-22-2014, 07:03 PM
Since you have a valid test result to get yourself under way, I would still challenge the original failed test.

That way you can demonstrate you have a legal, stock system, another facility made the correct call, and you can ask for a refund for the incorrect test result in front of the state inspector.

01-22-2014, 07:39 PM
This is great information. In VA, we also have the yearly inspection and my car is due on or before Feb 15, 2014. I have been to this facility two years in a row and passed both times. This facilities crew cracks up every year as they love the sound and they can't believe FIAT got away with no mufflers on the Abarth. This year I have my Super Sprint High high flow DP and exhaust installed it will be interesting what they think or even notice at all that it is different. I will let you know how it goes.


01-22-2014, 07:41 PM
Oh Boston, yeah move. Trust me you'll be much happier.

01-22-2014, 07:57 PM
So glad we don't have any sort of inspections in Columbus.

And I agree that you should challenge the first test even though you got it taken care of

01-22-2014, 08:21 PM
An amusing note to add for Texas based owners. If you take your car in for an inspection before it is two years old, they can do a safety inspection and skip the emissions test portion. That also skips the charge for it. You just have to find a shop willing to do it this was, as it makes them less money. It must be less than two years for the manufaturing date of the vehicle.

01-22-2014, 08:54 PM
Pretty crazy! There were some topics about this when they first got rid of the suitcase on the 2012s. I was worried about my inspection at first but I took it to a place where the same guy used to inspect my dad's old modded 69 chevelle.. Didn't even look under it. Said it sounded great! Threw a sticker on and off I went.

01-22-2014, 09:05 PM
Inspections infuriate me because nowadays it's really no longer about safety and more about revenue generation for the state.

Imagine if everyone who cared enough moved away from high taxation/high regulation states like MA and CA to lower regulation/lower/no taxation states like Nevada or Florida. Then FL, NV would have an influx of normal to balance the crazies, and all the high tax/big regulation people wouldn't have anyone left to run their game on.

01-23-2014, 10:22 AM
Here you go. Snapped a picture from the brochure. Click for the larger picture.

01-23-2014, 03:12 PM
So basically it was the inspector's opinion that your car should fail?
How is this allowed to happen?

Checking for mufflers is part of a 'safety' inspection?

01-23-2014, 03:33 PM
probably emissions. My guess is they have to do both safety and emissions at the same time. Surprised such a young car needed emissions testing, i thought most states don't require it until the car is 3 years old

01-23-2014, 03:58 PM
Yeah basically they have a check list and just go through that. It all subcontracted to gas stations and so it varies a lot - there was an M3 right before mine and I am POSITIVE that he was atleast 2 shades darker than the max allowable tint - but got a full pass !

As several of you said, I can probably challenge this and get the refund - but it will take up so much of my time and lots of running around. I know I should do it as a matter of principle, but for $29 - I can't justify spending more than 15 min trying to remedy it :)

So basically it was the inspector's opinion that your car should fail?
How is this allowed to happen?

Checking for mufflers is part of a 'safety' inspection?

01-23-2014, 06:01 PM
Ah man this makes me want to get a inspection before I put the downpipe on! hate these damn inspections/emissions.

01-23-2014, 06:22 PM
Am I the only one who read that story in a stereotypical Boston accent?

Best Maryland emissions testing story: It's 1998 or so and my friend's 1986 Ford Crown Vic is up for testing. He hands the keys to the guy and we go into the little booth to watch. Tech immediately drives the car and places the front wheels on the treadmill. For what felt like an eternity we both stared at this and just as he started the car we realized what was wrong and started pounding on the glass and pointing frantically at the rear wheels. It took him a hot second but he realized his mistake. Would have loved to have seen the disaster that would have inevitably happened had we not noticed... would have been a hell of a lawsuit!