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"What is a Gross Polluter?" Fact Sheet

Clean Air Is Everyone's Job!

Some vehicles that fail their smog inspections emit such high levels of pollution that a special category, called Gross Polluter, was created in law to identify these vehicles and encourage their repair. Gross Polluters are some of the worst polluting vehicles on California roadways.

Half of the smog in the state is said to be produced by motor vehicles. Although Gross Polluters represent only approximately 10 to 15 percent of all these vehicles, they are estimated to be responsible for more than half of all vehicle produced smog.

Gross Polluters pollute much more than a typical vehicle that fails a Smog Check inspection. The emission level at which a vehicle fails as a Gross Polluter varies according the vehicle type and year.

Additionally, older vehicles are not held to the same emissions standards as newer vehicles because older vehicles were built to a less stringent standard when originally manufactured.

By law, a Gross Polluter, once it has been repaired, must be certified at a STAR station.

Click here to locate a Smog Check station near you.

The Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) is available at STAR stations. The program provides up to $500 in financial assistance for qualified motorists when their vehicle fails a biennial (every other year) Smog Check. Visit our Web site at www.smogcheck.ca.gov to learn more about CAP or obtain an application.

Gross Polluters create more smog than all other vehicles. So, keep your vehicles well-maintained. It will save you money on gas mileage and major engine failures, extend the life of your vehicle, help you pass your Smog Check, and allow all Californians to breathe a little easier.

California Department of Consumer Affairs Hotline 1-800-952-5210