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Emissions Component

2003 Subaru Outback 2.5L Catalytic Converter Issue

My Subaru has a catalytic converter installed with a D-280-56 EO marking on it. The car is due for a smog this year. The smog technician says that I have a Tampered, not authorized Catalytic converter installed. The EO has NOT been recinded, but had been superceeded by D-280-73 which was recinded in 2012 and replaced by D-280-83. The Airtek P/N is 612181 and has remained the same throughout these years. The catalytic converter was installed 9-10 years ago and the car has passed the smog test successfully ever since with no problem. (Tested at the same place also). This technician says I have to change it before he will even test it because it is not on the list. Has this technician got it all wrong? I think he has and should have looked into the history closer. Please advise how I should proceed. I can not afford putting a fresh catalytic converter in my car which is not necessary if it passes OK. Yours David.


A rescinded catalytic converter can pass the smog test if purchased and installed prior to its rescind date.

You might need to dig for a receipt (assuming this Subaru was owned by you when its aftermarket catalytic converter was installed), but if you can find it, present it to the smog technician. He/she should pass the catalytic converter visual inspection if the CAT as purchased and installed prior to Jan 2012. D-280-56 was superseded by D-280-73, and D-280-73 was rescinded in 2012. If you can prove this catalytic converter was installed prior to January 10th 2012, it can pass the inspection. We recommend printing the D-280-73 .pdf and taking that to the smog station with you.

Since the implementation of the STAR smog check program, smog stations are very careful when it comes to inspecting catalytic converter EO numbers. One small mistake could cost them their STAR certification. Often even with a receipt for CAT purchase/ installation, if there is the slightest doubt about the validity of the receipt, the technician will refuse to inspect the vehicle, and will refer the owner to the smog check referee's office.

Our recommendation... if you can find any documentation to prove this catalytic converter was installed prior to January 2012, make an appointment with the snog check referee office. They have much more decision making power when it comes to passing or failing a vehicle.

posted by SmogTips Support 08-07-2017 10:04 PM

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