Home Forums Massachusetts Motorists Issues Inability to pass emissions in MA

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    Hi all, long time on and off NMA member. I don’t see Ivan around any more in these forums, hopefully he’s still a part of this group. He’s been extremely helpful over the past several decades.

    Here’s my dilemma

    I purchased a 2005 Porsche out of state. The previous owner assured me the ECU was stock.
    I register the car and pay the state approx $4000 for sales tax and registration and title.
    I take it to get a sticker and it fails and I am referred to the state contracted MAC agency and am black flagged until the MAC clears it
    The MAC tells me the ECU is modified and all emissions controls have been turned off. I need to put the car back to stock and bring it in.
    Over the next many weeks, I purchase a stock exhaust and have that installed as well as hire a tuning shop to do an analysis of the firmware and the car because it can be dangerous to the car just to blindly flash the ECU back to stock if any of the engine internals were changed.
    I will skip the analysis and the costs associated with that, and jump ahead to where we flash the ECU back to a stock Porsche ECU firmware.

    I take the car into the MAC. They agree the car has successfully passed emissions and safety, but because the CVN (check vehicle number) on the ECU doesn’t match the number the state has, this still indicates the ECU has been tampered and they cannot pass the car. (for techie people, the CVN sounds a lot like a CRC to me)

    I am on my hail mary at this point and taking the car to Porsche to have them flash the ECU again on Sept 7

    If that fails, the MAC tells me I cannot drive the car in MA and need to sell it and I have no avenue by which to appeal or seek a waiver. This boggles my mind. The car passes the federal emissions standard, it passes safety, but because because of a technicality I can’t get a sticker???

    My questions are
    1. Is there some appeal process? I read about the appeal on the RMV website but it sounds like you can’t appeal if the emissions controls have been tampered with and the MAC tells me the wrong CVN indicates tampering.
    2. If I have to sell the car, is there a way to get a refund on my sales tax?

    Thanks, Rob

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