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Discussion Starter #1
Hello. I am throwing this out there to see which way to go on this.
Anyway, my son purchased a WRX premium model last year actually 7/25/2018 to be exact.
His PA inspection was good up until August 31st of this year.
Well he went to get it inspected where most of my family does here in Oreland, and the mechanic said it had no catalytic convertor on it. My son and I couldn’t believe it. Well I helped my son take off the bottom plate to expose the front end of the exhaust and sure enough there was only a pipe no converter. It had an aftermarket exhaust that he bought it with. Nothing was disclosed that it was missing. And on top of that It was sold from a Toyota dealership here in PA. My son didn’t do anything to the car whatsoever. It was exactly what he wanted so he did want to do any modifications. And if he would have, he would have asked me anyway since he doesn’t know a whole lot about cars. So, he said maybe we should take it back there to get it inspected. If they fail it then say we bought it here last year and it was inspected by you. Of course, they could argue and say he did it and that is where it would be a he said he said situation. I actually found the station number on the sticker and checked the PENNDOT website and it was them. If they pass it then they could be reported since that it a federal crime. Anyway, what do you think?
 

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Super Moderator (Actually a SuperSpy)
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You bought a car from someone who committed a federal offense.
 

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Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Admin
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The Toy dealer is, of course, responsible as you tell the tale, but yeah..good luck proving that if it comes to it.
Not sure about the newer cars, the older ones had 3 cats, a pre-cat before the turbo and 2 after. I'm thinking the later cars only had the 2 after, one in the midpipe and one farther down. (someone correct me if I'm wrong) Both are gone? They put on a full turboback exhaust? Has it been tuned for it?
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
To be honest I am not sure. I was told that the cat was missing. When we took off the front plate it was a straight pipe. That is all I saw. As for the rest of it all I saw were of course the mufflers and a I think the resonator pipe as well as the flex pipe. Didn't check real carefully. I thought this only had one cat. Wow! Maybe two or three? Seems like an overkill.
I guess this is how the exhaust is setup (except it has 2 mufflers).
323321
 

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From my experience with this same thing I'll tell you what i did and how it was resolved.

I called the dealership and told them they sold me a vehicle that could not be registered and was illegal to sell or own for highway use. I told them to either fix it, buy the car back, or I would have to hire a lawyer.

They gave me a tuner for the down pipe (Cobb AP) and told me to go to turn in concepts in Cincinnati and have the exhaust done and that they would front the bill.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the advice.
This is what I see happening in my son's situation.
They will argue that he did this and they are not on the hook for it or got someone else to do it.
I know he will press them pretty hard that he did not alter anything on the car since he bought it.
Of course I will back him up on this.
He bought it the way it was because everything that he would have done to it was already done.
So there was no reason whatsoever for him to do anything else.
It will be a back and forth match for sure.
It has been a year since he bought the car, but there would be no other way for him to find out it was missing except for an emissions failure. Like I said he knows some things about cars, but definitely not enough the change out exhaust. That is for sure.
 

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Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Admin
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BTW that exhaust diagram is quite old; I remember it circulating when I had my first 2002 sedan, in 2003-2004. I don't think it necessarily reflects the cats that are supposed to be on your son's car.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Well he took it back where he bought it last year for the PA annual vehicle safety and emissions inspection.
He put my number as primary since it is hard while he is working to take phone calls.
Well I received a call later in the day from the dealer.
I thought well here it goes and let the fight begin.
Well the technician asks if I wanted an oil change?
I said well it isn't my car so I will have to ask my son (will have to text).
Anyway, my son text me and said sure.
So, I called back and told the service tech yes my son would want the oil changed.
Then I ask is everything else done on the car?
He said yes.
This is it.
So about 2 hours later received another call and the same service tech said the car is all done and ready to be picked up.
He gave me the price and then I thanked him.

Well how about that.
Passed with flying colors.

I even checked if the laws were different in the county the dealer was compared to where we live and they are the same.
My son said just leave it be and he will just take it there every year until he doesn't have the car anymore.
Unfortunately, it is a 45 minutes ride, but it is only once a year.
 

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Yeah, here in NC, in my particular county, they basically plug in and check for OBDII issues that could indicate an issue with emissions. I THINK technically they were supposed to inspect for the presence of factory cats, tampering with exhaust, etc. But I owned completely catless WRX's for at least 10 years, and never had an issue, since my tune eliminated any flags that would trigger a CEL, etc. Took my car to more than one place, and it never came up. I always sweated a little, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well today I went to the original station that failed my son's car with their receipt and the one from the dealer that passed it.

The owner of the station said the law is in PA to put the hose on the exhaust and if it passes then you are done.
However, if it doesn't and there is a check engine light in the car then they do a visual inspection.
Either way.

What happened in my son's case they raised his car up and saw he had no cat and just failed it without putting the smog hose on it.
This isn't the way it's done.
The owner of the station actually gave me money back since they failed his car in the wrong way.
So, I learned that a visual inspection is only done if the pipe test fails.and/or there is an engine light on.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well we may think the dealer is wrong, but they didn't know it didn't have a catalytic convertor.
They placed the hose on the exhaust and it passed.
That is all that is required.
No visual inspection needed.
Only if it doesn't pass or there is a check engine light on they do a visual.
It is a real gray area here, but the dealer went by the book for sure.
I am sure there are many cars out there without them.
I have read that you just have to trick the ECU in thinking that one is present so the light doesn't come on.
 

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They either knew, or they were lazy. Don't make excuses for a shit organization.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 

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There is a somewhat relevant piece on Jalopnik about this issue at https://jalopnik.com/what-do-i-do-if-an-inspection-reveals-issues-on-a-used-1838092990. You would think that a car purchased form a reputable dealership wouldn't need to be inspected but obviously that is not always the case.

A big concern is what happens going forward when your son wants to sell that car with what some would consider to be a hidden defect.

I bought a used but refurbished WRX on eBay from a dealer 1700 miles away. As soon as I got it, I took it to Super Rupair, an excellent independent Subaru service facility in my hometown, for a complete inspection. They found a couple of fairly esoteric but minor problems that were fixed and replaced the timing belt and water pump for a total of about $1500.

My cost, even with shipping and repairs, was still considerably less than the Blue Book value for the car. Even more importantly to me, I had a great car in known excellent condition. I've now driven it some 50,000 miles and it has been problem-free. I still have Super Rupair do all my service.
 

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Hello. I am throwing this out there to see which way to go on this.
Anyway, my son purchased a WRX premium model last year actually 7/25/2018 to be exact.
His PA inspection was good up until August 31st of this year.
Well he went to get it inspected where most of my family does here in Oreland, and the mechanic said it had no catalytic convertor on it. My son and I couldn’t believe it. Well I helped my son take off the bottom plate to expose the front end of the exhaust and sure enough there was only a pipe no converter. It had an aftermarket exhaust that he bought it with. Nothing was disclosed that it was missing. And on top of that It was sold from a Toyota dealership here in PA. My son didn’t do anything to the car whatsoever. It was exactly what he wanted so he did want to do any modifications. And if he would have, he would have asked me anyway since he doesn’t know a whole lot about cars. So, he said maybe we should take it back there to get it inspected. If they fail it then say we bought it here last year and it was inspected by you. Of course, they could argue and say he did it and that is where it would be a he said he said situation. I actually found the station number on the sticker and checked the PENNDOT website and it was them. If they pass it then they could be reported since that it a federal crime. Anyway, what do you think?
 

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That vehicle shouldn't have been sold. And it has a bad emissions sticker on it. The car was sold as is but the dealer should make a deal on this ,
 
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