The commission's action today increases the model year exemption for newly-manufactured vehicles from four to seven years beginning in 2015.
A state audit released Dec. 12 questioned whether the inspection program is really needed for air quality, noting that 93 percent of cars already pass the tests.
The state set up the auto-inspection program in 1980, and it now operates in nine metro-Denver and northern Front Range counties. Currently, cars made in 1981 or earlier must have annual emissions testing, while models from 1982 onward must be tested every other year. Vehicles manufactured in the past four years are exempt.
Vehicles that meet requirements after driving by roadside testing stations don't have to go to bricks-and-mortar locations but still must pay the fee.
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(Copyright 2012 The Denver Post)