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Is The Original Owner Responsible for Getting the Smog Check Before Transfer of Title?
My mom bought a 1991 Honda Accord EX in San Diego, CA and once she went to register it they asked for it to be smogged. Apparently the original owner never got it smogged before he sold it to my mom. The car won't pass smog due to high HC. Who is responsible now?
The Seller (Original Owner) Is Responsible For The Smog CheckSection 24007 (b)(2) of the California Vehicle Code states it is the responsibility of the seller to provide a valid smog certificate before or during the sale of a vehicle. If the seller didn't give your mom a smog certificate when she bought the Honda Accord, and perhaps she was not aware that the seller was supposed to, we'd recommend you contact the seller and explain the situation. An amicable resolution is best, otherwise you'd probably need to take it to court and have a judge decide on how to handle the matter.
Unfortunately the DMV or Bureau of Automotive Repairs won't get involved in these types of cases since many times sellers and buyers agree to purchase vehicles which have not and/or can not pass the smog check in their current condition, i.e. engine damage, faulty emission parts, non-op status vehicles and so forth. Unless actual fraud was intended and there is overwhelming proof, it's going to be difficult getting the DMV or other law enforcement agency involved. Our best recommendation... deal with the seller, explain you don't want matters to get complicated and find a solution that works for you both.