Totally OT ! Annual vehicle safety checks in USA

Sorry for the ot post but most of you are from the USA - maybe you can resolve a discussion I'm having on another news group.
Here in the UK every vehicle over three years old has to be tested for certain safety points, brakes, steering, corrosion damage etc. It is taken to an approved 'MOT test station' who make it jump through hoops and then issue either a pass or a fail certificate. Is there anything similar in the USA ?
Thanks,
Andrew Mawson
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Depends on the state. The ones I've lived in have annual or every 6 month inspections, required on all vehicles, including brand-new ones.
Some other states have no inspection at all. I believe that some of those states do have rather stiff penalties if your car is involved in an accident due to a failure to maintain safety systems/items, but they stop short of actually having an inspection system.
The details of the inspection vary with state, but it's primarily "safety", often combined with emissions testing these days, and sometimes aspects of supposed "safety" that really look more like successful lobbying by car dealers (items which are clearly appearance, not safety, such as rust in non-structural parts of the vehicle).
--
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Yes, in Massachussetts I had to take my car to a drunken mechanic once a year to find out if it would stop when I wanted it to. Here in Oregon they assume that if you can't detect problems of that magnitude in your own vehicle then you shouldn't be on the road.
Part of the difference is that in the northeastern United States they salt the roads to clear snow and ice and cars rust out _fast_. Here in Oregon you'll see 40-50 year old cars that are still in fine shape -- I'm restoring a '63 Chevrolet 1/2 ton truck that lived a hard life but would still have passed a Massachusetts safety inspection when I bought it.
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In some states you have to pay for the inspection if required, in some like New Jersey, you can either take it to a licensed private mechanic and pay or take it to a State center for free, but they run it through a whole series of tests, emissions, gas cap vaccume, shocks, lights, brakes, etc. It used to be every year, but now because it has gotten even more picky than before, they made it ever two years. Thank goodness for small reprieves.
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like New

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Thanks to all those that replied - disscussion resolved now !
Andrew Mawson Bromley, Kent, UK
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In the US it is up to each state to regulate auto inspections. Some have complicated inspections and some don't have any at all.
Japan is probably even worse than in the UK. A new isn't inspected for three years. Then they are inspected each year (cost is about five hundred USD) for the next two years and then after it is five years old it goes through a more comprehensive inspection each year (cost for the major inspection is over 1200 USD). I may be off slightly on the years but this is basically how it works.
It was explained to me that this encouraged new car purchases. This discussion came up with after I bought an old sports car and my Japanese boss explained why almost no one in Japan had an old car.
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