Observation and Comments about the Star Program
The California State mandated program termed Star Program under the direction of John Wallaugh aims to direct highest polluting vehicles to Star Station for smog test. In an independent attempt to verify the purpose of this program, I have spoken to an employee of the local Bureau of Automotive Repairs (BAR), who confirmed that Star Program only directs highest polluting vehicles to Star Station for proper smog test. In reality, truth reveals different story. I recently have noted that so many vehicles for which emission test history record was rather good, and those so new not even have been in the history record got directed to the Star Station, which shows a great deviation from the Star Program stated mission.
Such a discrepancy from facts will inevitably cause unpredictable harm to the public, the reason of which, I would urge the state to consider the delay of the Star Program’s implementation, till a better option avails itself. The immediate implementation, in my view, may bring about consequences, to include:
1. Countless number of smog test technicians losing their job, at a time, the economy is at greatest challenge time in California;
2. Many otherwise capable to serve their current customers would go out of business, resulting not only grand scale business losses, the resulting of which depriving several of their employees’ employment;
3. Lack of balance as smog test service providers between Star Program qualified vendors and those apparent loss of status caused by the immediate Star Program implementation without essential transition;
4. The large-scale job losses caused by the program’s immediate implementation would thereby bring about a heavier burden on employment benefits pool, which otherwise, have drained, due to the long-term structural unemployment our State has been in.
The Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) has randomly picked many vehicles that otherwise have good history records and even new vehicles, for which smog test has not even yet been its turn, and directed them to Star Station, which creates unfair practices leading to unbalanced economic.
The impact of the rush implementation not only creates far more work on certain favored Star Station, while leaving others without work, the very essence of which, justifies for employment and welfare of their employees, whose livelihood depending on their existence. Furthermore, such disparity in service will only cause consumers to suffer from:
a) Far higher prices to pay for the State’s favored Star Station, versus the otherwise qualified Smog Test Station, purposely left out by the State for unknown or hard-to-justify reason; b) having to wait in line for the smog test service, for now lack of Star Program station, requiring consumers, to amongst many other things, drive far out of town or from employment, solely for purpose of seeking a Star Station, the service of which could have been just as well accomplished by a Test
Only Station. A reasonable person would ask, what is the logic of the Star Program? After all, for whose benefits, the program has been established, and how beneficial is it to their real constituents?
To demonstrate the points raised above, here below is a sample of cars directed to Star Program for a few days in 2012 contrary to the Star Program’s stated mission, the reason for the policy implementation, I seriously question:
1993 Toyota T100 License plate # 7N73118 This Vehicle never fail any test in the history record why got pick for star program? T1
2003 Mitsubishi Diamante License plate # 4ZBB870 never fail any test in the history record T1
2001 Chevy Prizm License plate # 4PLE456 never fail any test in the history record T1
2005 Nissan License #IMYCB history record show 1st test in 2011 and it pass? T2
1984 Chevy Blazer License plate #2AUR986 been pass for the last 10 years T2
1987 Chevy PU License plate #3F57045 been pass for the last 10 years T2
2001 Ford PU. License plate #6L38686 never fail any test in the history record T2
1993 Honda Accord License plate #4GZJ769 never fail any test in the history record T2
2006 Toyota Solara License plate #5XCW647 Never been test since new T2
1998 FORD F150 License plate #7M27884 Did not fail since 2005 T2
1986 Ford UT License plate #6GSL910 History show only one test pass in
2011 1993 Honda Accord 4GZJ769 Never fail any test in the history record T2
1997 Ford 5L69068 Never fail any test in the history record T2
1995 FORD EXPLORER 3LDJ240 History record show never been fail since new? T3
1994 TOY P/U 5A08586 History record show never had been fail since new? Wow 19 years old T3
2001 MER G MARQUIS 4RKF796 History record show never had been fail since new? T3
1996 TOY COROLLA 3NYP658 History record show never been fail since 1996 T3
1988 CHRYSLER 5TH AVE 4DDG187 History record show never been fail since 2000?? T3
2001 CHEVY TAHOE 4RLF363 Never been fail since 20003 T3
1998 DODGE DURANGO 6BCX257 Never been fail in the history record T3
1996 TOY COROLLA #3NYP658 T3 Never been fail in the history record T3
1998 FORD WINDSTAR #4AOS545 T3 Never been fail in the history record T3
Link to Star program
I also take exception to the Star Score’s result. Not only is it not accurate, fairly presenting the smog standards meeting capacity, it creates unfair competition to the majority of those in the fields the state has sponsored using the prior test data base approved by the state. A case in point is the fact that a smog test technician faithfully used the tools and the test score derived thereof; yet, the test failed to detect the performance failure. Not only has the state not informed him in certain writing of the system’s failure, it was silent for almost a decade? Why is that the state not taking a proactive approach reaching him, informing him that the system the state sponsored has failed, and required certain correction? As expected, such technician followed the instructions prescribed by the State on the screen prompt & process the test in strict adherence to the BAR regulation. The result prompted by the system garnered a “pass.” When in fact, it is a “fail”; the problem in fact lies in the system, not the technician. When one who is trained by a certain systems, to perform exactly as he is instructed and without a
deviation of his own in any way, and more important, without any way of knowing whether the systems work the way it should, fails. From any reasonably measurable standards, he has satisfactorily completed the duty he’s expected to fulfill; thus, blame-freed for systems anomaly, where he’s no control over its function. One would logically ask, would the BAR’s function be there to make available a tool license providers could use, the use of which together with the full abeyance of its regulations satisfies the BAR’s monitoring and to educate both the public of the systems’ expectation and the license providers in utilities and necessity the systems possess without the need to pick and choose participants discriminatorily?
For the apparent failures advocated above, for the balance approach, with purpose of establishing a transition, one that will in sufficient time, enables sufficient level of certifiable technicians demonstrated to the satisfaction of the State of their substantive knowledge as a licensee, while allowing for current business not to be disrupted or faced with unfair competition, where no efforts could be made on their part to be regarded the State, whose laws and regulations they have faithfully abided by over the decades, the State should:
Delay the State Program’s implementation, till satisfactory infrastructure has been in place to include: the ability to create sufficient level of certified technicians and Star Stations in the State.
Pilot the program in a certain target locale and expand on a gradual schedule from one city at a time to allow sufficient lesson learn to be achieved.
Enforce the Star Score in 2013 and, when new Star Program roles out, insurance must be made that certified technicians in their new role, be provided adequate education and training, and continued education for improvement to be expected; and an existence of a support systems with feedback built in.
Public Information about the Star Program designated locations: One could log into the link below to check a particular vehicle’s emission test history record to know if the car is subject to Star Program. ONLY cars that had failure history in the past would be directed to Star Program, on the other hand, for a car that’s never failed should NOT BE DIRECTED to Star Program. The link is: http://www.bar.ca.gov/pubwebquery/Vehicle/PubTstQry.aspx.
You have some good ideas but It's to late now.
In my expenence most of the fleet that is older than 2002 has been directed to test only, most of the vehicles that you listed fit the typical profile for directed vehicles.
Did you attend any of the industry reach out meetings that Bar had all over the state?
While I whole-heartedly support the suggested measures to avert the implementation of STAR above, your premise missed the mark on what vehicles will be directed to STAR stations. Test-Only directed status has never really been about smog test history (excepting gross polluter vehicles early in the program) but about vehicles that fit a statistical profile. Many of the vehicles in your list easily fit that high emitter profile even if the individual vehicle history is clean. In addition, there has always been a supposed 2% random draw of vehicles included in the directed mix. Many of the vehicles may fit that description as well.
The original intention of a test-only directed mix of vehicles was expanded to provide for a supposed 36% of the vehicle fleet "directed vehicle status". This meant that the statistical profile was changed to include vehicles that hardly fit our accepted generalization of high emitter profile vehicles.
The directed draw for STAR should be exactly the same as the current test-only directed mix to start. Not sure why you are surprised at what you see (except for your premise that individual vehicle history plays some part) in STAR directed vehicles.
The real question for our future will be - What will an average directed vehicle be a year from now? When the second half of this debacle is implemented, what can we expect to see?
What I expect is that STAR stations will be getting all the crap and it will create a revolving door of shops moving in and out of STAR certification. STAR shops will lose certification due to the mix of POS cars they will direct and then wait 6 months to get back in. Meanwhile, the repair shops that do not participate in STAR will have stellar FPR scores that makes the state believe that STAR really doesn't work. I expect STAR will be scrapped after a very short time when it appears to have failed because BAR still won't accept that it is the drivers and the cars, not the shops or techs, that is responsible for the majority of our problems with the current program.
Chew on that a while.
What I expect is that STAR stations will be getting all the crap and it will create a revolving door of
shops moving in and out of STAR certification. STAR shops will lose certification due to the mix of POS cars they will direct and then wait 6 months to get back in.
Don't forget the logical outcome of POS testing. There will be shops that simply won't test certain
vehicles because of this point you mention. The hidden agenda of trying to force people to buy
something they can't afford, and don't want, comes in to play. What else can a poor bastard do if no,
or few shops will test their POS vehicle. No doubt, they planned on this, but it's just as likely to stir up
a motorist shit storm, and the consumers will have a lawsuit of their own, along side the many from the techs and owners.
If there is any single thing that will get the motorists on our side, NOT being able to get smogs, ranks
WAY up there. Since the BAR likes to pretend they are listening, we will see how they handle this
probable scenario. Since they can't force any shop to test a particular POS, they may have the
referees going like mad, to keep up with the constant flow of the very common POS. If it aint the
referees, I don't know who else would do it.
Well heres my observation for today.It seems if you were a high volume smog shop you being star is less likely than say a low volume test and repair.Remember test and repair tested mostly late model vehicles which keeps your fpr well within passing.Test only tested all the junk.If those cars are even running in 2 years is a miracle but running AND passing is very rare no matter what.Therefore low fpr.Pretty much makes no sense.Im not bangin on anyone but whoever came up with this is probably less educated than lets say ME.Im a shop owner so im not going to lose my job and will find a way to survive with a large customer base.But alot of techs out of work.It sucks in these hard times.But they dont care thats why it is our duty to blow this thing outta here like a fart in the wind.This program is pretty ludicrous so Im pretty sure with a little time thing will get better so we can get back to work(;
blow this thing outta here like a fart in the wind
I wish it were this easy. Even if we have a best case scenario, it will be more like a "fart in a diving bell."
The stench of what they have done will remain for quite a while.
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