Illinois Bill to Ban Aftermarket Exhaust Systems Dies for the Year as Legislative Session Adjourns

The SEMA Action Network (SAN) stalled final action on Illinois legislation (H.B. 2221) that threatened to ban vehicles equipped with a “muffler or exhaust system that clearly has been modified to amplify or increase the noise of the vehicle.”  The bill had been quickly passed by the House in the final days of the legislative session, before being stopped by the SAN in the Senate.  Under the measure, vehicles determined to have been modified by virtue of a “visual observation” would have failed emissions inspection.   How emissions inspectors would have determined that an exhaust system increases noise by virtue of a “visual inspection” was not explained in the bill. 
  • H.B. 2221 ignored the fact that aftermarket exhaust systems are designed to make vehicles run more efficiently without increasing emissions.
  • H.B. 2221 did not supply emissions inspectors with a clear standard to enforce (e.g. decibel limit under a sound test procedure), allowing them to make subjective judgments based on “visual observations” on whether or not a modified exhaust system increases noise.
  • H.B. 2221 failed 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. 2221 would have made it impossible for hobbyists to replace factory exhaust systems with more durable, better performing options.
On behalf of the SAN, thank you for responding to our call to action and contacting Illinois lawmakers to request opposition to this bill.