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Failed Smog Test

2000 Chevy Impala Wrong Catalytic Converter Installed

A smog station installed the second of two catalytic converters (within 44,000) miles of each other, in 2012. I later learned CA Law states there is a 50,000 mile warranty and shouldn't have been charged?

The shop only offered to refund me $200 when I questioned them about this, so I took my business elsewhere, rather than take them to BAR. I passed smog in 2013, but just failed this year. I guess the last smog place wasn't as thorough. I had a second shop confirm the wrong catalytic converter for my Chevy Impala is in fact installed.

Once again, I'm dealing with the shop that did the install this morning, as they want to confirm, but have said before they replace the CAT, they have to see what their "Parts" people have to say.

I'm honestly not sure why that is my problem. I didn't go to the BAR about their installing/charging me for the second catalytic converter at when they shouldn't have, but now feel I may have to. If they don't agree to make things right, what recourse do I, as a consumer, have? My registration is due this month.


The Bureau of Automotive Repairs (BAR) will get involved upon you filing a complaint with their office. The smog station in question, if in fact installed the incorrect catalytic converter on your Chevy Impala, should rectify the situation with installing the correct CAT, free of charge.

If you are unable to reach an amicable deal with them, contact the BAR at (800) 952-5210. If after investigation, your claim is founded, they can instruct the smog station to complete the proper repair. Furthermore, there should not have been a need for a replacement catalytic converter at 44,000 miles. An underlying problem should have existed causing the new CAT to become prematurely damaged. If the same smog station in question conducted the diagnosis which revealed a defective CAT, the BAR will investigate this matter as well.

The investigation process might be lengthy, and you will not want to drive with expired registration tags. You may visit a local DMV branch and explain your situation. They can issue you a temporary registration permit good for 30 days. A fee may apply.

posted by SmogTips Support 04-08-2015 12:22 PM

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