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Do my civic duty for cleaner air

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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
If cellphones did not exist and Spider repair parts were not out of stock, yes. But with texters-and-drivers on the road and no replacement bumpers in stock, it is too risky.
I could drive my car to the testing facility, (I’m retired btw s nothing else to do) then pick up my Julia Quad, drive home and around, then drive back to the facility and pick up my car. 500 bucks, plus expenses.
 

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I think it's ridiculous they're reaching out to customers for an emissions test. Why do they not have test vehicles? Did they not think of this while they were producing the car?
Sounds like poor management decisions to me. Handing out $500 isn't the answer, but that's just my opinion.
Agreed. It seems very strange for a manufacturer to reach out to owners asking for vehicle donations to test out so they can check off their government compliance requirements. Even if they're offering $500, that's way too little in my opinion, to even consider it. Plus, now that they're out of production, I wouldn't be open to accepting the risk of something happening to the vehicle during transport or testing. Bugger that nonsense...
Even if manufacturers could retain cars for testing purposes, they would still have to accumulate "real world" mileage. So just give them to someone to drive? That would be sweet.
 
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2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth, fully loaded from the factory, with just a wee bit of aftermarket mods.
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Even if manufacturers could retain cars for testing purposes, they would still have to accumulate "real world" mileage. So just give them to someone to drive? That would be sweet.
...or just use the lease returns, which would have "real world" mileage on them. It just seems like a very, very peculiar request... and why only the Spider? I've never heard of this for any other vehicle, including the other Fiat models sold in NA.
 
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This is definitely a letter from FCA and not a scam, right? Just making sure because I get some really believable scam letters from Comcast and mortgage lenders
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
That’s what I thought initially. I scrutinize everything. It’s definitely legit.

Anyway, I sent back the response form as a firm…maybe. The letter stated that even if you do not want to participate, they request your no response. Probably to show that they are going through proper randomized channels and that the testing isn’t “fixed”.
 

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Does FCA own those lease return cars?
Probably about as much as they own our cars. But I can't imagine a dealership passing up the equivalent of free money. They hand over a lease return vehicle for a few days and pocket cash in return before they sell it to someone.
 
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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Alas, as stated earlier, it has to be a random drawing. If I or others that have been sent letters choose not to participate, then a next round of randomly chosen owners will get a letter. And so on and so on.

Im not sure dealership cars, if not titled by the dealership, would be put in the drawing.
 

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Many lease returns leave the dealership within days and are not sold as used by them, typically going to auction.
 

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Today I received a letter from FCA requesting that they do a federally mandated randomized test of my spider. The letter states this is a requirement by the government for all auto manufacturers to test a certain number of cars at one, and four years of age, regardless of mileage.

I would drop of the car at a dealership I’m assuming and they would then drive it to Columbus Indiana, do 75 miles of testing, then drive the car back. So roughly 600 miles would be put on the car. I would receive a fully insured rental with a full tank of gas and unlimited mileage. They would return my car with a full tank of gas. They would also give me a check for 500 dollars. The whole process would take 1 to 3 weeks.

So, anyone else get this letter? If so, did you participate?

I am curious how many takers they get. I daily drive my car, and it has snow tires. But do I want some rando driving my car? And how hard are they going to drive it to get the testing data. They say they just want to gather emissions data on a regular driving cycle.

I will add a poll. Count me in, or forgetaboutit
I'm sure there's a reason why this can't be done, but, if they need "real world" emissions data then just instrument a owner's car and let the data be fed to some data sink for a period of weeks, or whatever, then have the car come in, instruments removed along with the data.
 

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I'm sure there's a reason why this can't be done, but, if they need "real world" emissions data then just instrument a owner's car and let the data be fed to some data sink for a period of weeks, or whatever, then have the car come in, instruments removed along with the data.
There is probably a defined testing cycle that needs to be followed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
The letter states, “ The emissions test procedure involves operating the vehicle on a dynamometer at the sgs environmental testing corporation laboratory in Columbus Indiana, under simulated real world driving conditions. The exhaust gas is collected and analyzed for emissions pollutants regulated by the federal clean air act“. It goes on to say that this will involve approximately 75 miles.
 

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Ah, so not so real world, real world testing. got it.
Perhaps more accurately, they're seeking to glean current performance and emissions data from vehicles with real world historical usage. Using a consistent method of retrieving that data means accurate benchmarks and associated statistics. Scientific research protocols and all that sort of thing. I would also speculate the equipment they're using to perform the process is fairly expensive and rolling out X amount of units across the country would be capital project unjustifiable. Also, perhaps not straight forward enough to ensure a group of people inexperienced in it's operation would be able to deploy it in a consistent manner. It if needs a controlled environment to manage temps and humidity levels, that too would make it a bit of a challenge. I am lead to believe that's why they're wanting to transport vehicles to specific testing and analysis centres to perform the work.

Then again, pure rampant speculation on my part. I'm still curious as to why this has never cropped up with other models or other vehicle manufacturers. Odd indeed.
 
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