January 30, 2006

UPDATE!
Michigan Representative Decides Not to Move Forward With Bill to Ban Aftermarket Exhaust Systems

Michigan State Representative Rick Jones has alerted SEMA that he will no longer pursue, in its current form, legislation (H.B. 5543) to ban vehicles equipped with replacement exhaust systems that differ from the design specifications of the original muffler. H.B. 5543 would also have prohibited the sale and use of exhaust systems that exceed an 80-decibel limit at a distance of 50 feet.

In its place, Representative Jones is considering SEMA model legislation that provides for the testing of vehicle exhaust noise to a standard adopted by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) with an established noise limit of 95-decibels (SAE J1169). Under the SAE standard, a sound meter is placed 20 inches from the exhaust outlet at a 45 degree angle and the engine is revved to three quarters of maximum rated horsepower. The highest decibel reading is then recorded. To date, with the popular support of vehicle enthusiasts and related businesses, the model has been enacted in California, Washington State and Maine. This year, the SEMA model was introduced in Virginia.

Thanks to all the Michigan car clubs and councils, individual enthusiasts and members of the SEMA business community who worked so tirelessly to derail this bill. Thanks also to Representative Jones for listening to his constituents and for making the proper response. Thanks again!

We just recently discovered that the Michigan legislature is working a bill that could send shockwaves through the aftermaket world. The rest of this article is directly from a press release by the Specialty Equipment Manufacturer's Association (SEMA).

URGENT LEGISLATIVE ALERT

Michigan Bill Would Ban Most Aftermarket Exhaust Systems

A bill (H.B. 5543) to ban vehicles equipped with replacement exhaust systems that differ from the design specifications of the original muffler has been introduced in Michigan by Rep. Rick Jones ( rickjones@house.mi.gov). H.B. 5543 would also prohibit the sale and use of exhaust systems that exceed an 80-decibel limit at a distance of 50 feet. The bill has been referred to the Michigan House Transportation Committee for consideration.

In some states, noise limits for modified exhaust systems are established by a SEMA model bill and applicable to an easy to administer test standard. The SEMA model provides for the testing of vehicle exhaust noise to a standard adopted by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) with an established noise limit of 95-decibels (SAE J1169). Under the SAE standard, a sound meter is placed 20 inches from the exhaust outlet at a 45 degree angle and the engine is revved to three quarters of maximum rated horsepower. The highest decibel reading is then recorded.

To date, with the popular support of vehicle enthusiasts and related businesses, the model has been enacted in California, Washington State and Maine. This year, the SEMA model was introduced in Virginia.

We Urge You to Call or E-mail Rep. Jones and Members of the House Transportation Committee (List Below) Immediately to Oppose H.B. 5543

  • H.B. 5543 ignores the fact that aftermarket exhaust systems are designed to make vehicles run more efficiently without increasing emissions.
  • H.B. 5543 fails to recognize that aftermarket exhaust systems offer increased performance, which can make a vehicle safer by improving its ability to merge, pass, travel uphill, etc.
  • H.B. 5543 would make it impossible for hobbyists to replace factory exhaust systems with more durable, better performing options.
  • The SAE J1169 test is performed in a controlled environment that limits the amount of ambient sound (e.g. from other cars) that might skew the results.

DON'T DELAY! Please contact members of the Michigan House Transportation Committee immediately by phone or e-mail to request their opposition to H.B. 5543. Please e-mail a copy of your letter to stevem@sema.org. Thank you for your assistance.

House Transportation Committee Members

Philip LaJoy, Committee Chair
Phone: 517-373-2575
E-mail Address: phillajoy@house.mi.gov

David Law, Committee Vice-Chair
Phone: 517-373-1799
E-mail Address: davidlaw@house.mi.gov

Robert Gosselin
Phone: 517-373-1783
E-mail Address: robertgosselin@house.mi.gov

Tom Meyer
Phone: 517-373-0476
E-mail Address: tommeyer@house.mi.gov

Tom Casperson
Phone: 517-373-0156
E-mail Address: tomcasperson@house.mi.gov

Neal Nitz
Phone: 517-373-1796
E-mail Address: nealnitz@house.mi.gov

Lorence Wenke
Phone: 517-373-1787
E-mail Address: lorencewenke@house.mi.gov

Tim Moore
Phone: 517-373-8962
E-mail Address: timmoore@house.mi.gov

Phil Pavlov
Phone: 517-373-1790
E-mail Address: phillippavlov@house.mi.gov

Tom Pearce
Phone: 517-373-0218
E-mail Address: tompearce@house.mi.gov

Glenn Anderson
Phone: 517-373-2576
E-mail Address: glennanderson@house.mi.gov

Pam Byrnes
Phone: 517-373-0828
E-mail Address: pambyrnes@house.mi.gov

Michael Murphy
Phone: 517-373-0826
E-mail Address: michaelcmurphy@house.mi.gov

Kathleen Law
Phone: 517-373-0855
E-mail Address: kathleenlaw@house.mi.gov

Morris Hood III
Phone: 517-373-3815
E-mail Address: morrishood3rd@house.mi.gov

John Gleason
Phone: 517-373-7557
E-mail Address: johngleason@house.mi.gov

Gabe Leland
Phone: 517-373-6990
E-mail Address: gabeleland@house.mi.gov