Liberals’ Drive Clean test continues to drive up costs for Ontarians

BRANTFORD – The Liberals have refused to seriously address the costly technical flaws with their new computerized emissions test and have instead opted to force Ontarians to foot the bill, PC Environment Critic and Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris said today.

The Auditor General specifically warned the Liberals last year to delay the implementation of their emissions test in order to ensure that all technical problems were resolved.

“But in typical Liberal fashion, the government ignored the advice of the Auditor General and rushed ahead with their new emissions test – neglecting to do any due diligence whatsoever,” Harris said at Strickland’s GMC in Brantford. “Now, Ontarians are paying the price for the Liberals’ politically motivated move to introduce a test that’s less reliable and more prone to error.”

The Liberals replaced the previous tailpipe test, which is a true measure of emissions, with a computerized test that scans the on-board diagnostics (OBD) systems in vehicles.

“Now, every day countless vehicles fail this new test – not because of emissions-related problems – but because of a computer error. Rather than address these technical issues, the Liberals have told Ontarians to spend their valuable time and money driving on highways and around town in the hopes their vehicle’s on-board computer will correct itself for the next test,” Harris said.

“What’s truly unfortunate is that the Liberals gave no thought to the unwarranted financial hardship and stress these ‘false fails’ would have on drivers and car dealers, who are required to get an emissions test every time they sell a vehicle no matter how old it is,” Harris said. “I encourage Ontarians to voice their opposition to this government program by signing our online petition today at”

Up until the Liberals introduced their new and technically flawed Drive Clean test this year, 95% of vehicles met the program’s requirements.

“Such a high pass rate indicates that improvements in technology and fuel efficiency standards have rendered the Drive Clean program redundant. That’s why the Auditor General questioned the overall effectiveness of emissions testing in his report last year,” Harris said. “Instead of acknowledging advances in technology, the Liberal government forged ahead with their new emissions test in a cynical attempt to raise the failure rate and justify what has obviously become a useless program.”

Now – less than two months after the introduction of this test – the failure rate has more than doubled.

“It’s more clear than ever that, under the Liberals, Drive Clean has become nothing more than a government cash grab,” Harris said. “The government should stop making Ontarians jump through new hoops to get their cars e-tested and begin phasing out this program, which costs drivers $30 million a year.”