California Bans Diesel Vehicle Engines Older than 2010

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January 16, 2023
Edward Smith

Diesel Vehicles with Older Model Engines Banned in California

As of January 1, 2023, all large trucks and buses must have 2010 or newer engines to operate on California roadways. Vehicles with engines made before 2010 will be prohibited from running.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) implemented a set of clean air regulations and signed it into law as Senate Bill 1 in 2008. Now nearly 15 years later, the new rule took effect the first of the year, banning diesel vehicles built before 2010. These include heavier trucks weighing more than 26,000 pounds and lighter trucks weighing over 14,000.

Why California Is Banning Some Large Vehicles on the Road

CARB said the decision to ban these large vehicles is to 100 percent protect public health. According to the agency, diesel exhaust is responsible for 70 percent of cancer risk from airborne toxins. Therefore buses and large trucks will require newer model-year engines to reduce oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions and particular matter (PM).

The agency said 2010 and newer model engines better filter out harmful toxic air contaminants. State regulators said while commercial trucks only make up about 6 percent of vehicles registered in California, they account for over half of the pollution emitted.

About 200,000 vehicles in California currently do not comply with the rule and will be banned, including an estimated 70,000, or roughly 10 percent of commercial trucks in California. However, exceptions to the law will be made for vehicles that travel less than 1,000 miles a year and with newer engines manufactured after 2010.

How Will the Truck Ban Be Enforced?

The California DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) will deny registration for vehicles not in compliance. CARB said it has an enforcement unit to inspect the vehicles, audit fleets, and issue citations. The agency is also working with the federal Environmental Protection Agency to help enforce the rule for vehicles coming from out of state.

CARB said most California truck and bus fleet owners have already complied, with nearly 1.6 million vehicles fitted with post-2010 engines.

The agency recently proposed to remove all diesel and gas truck fleets from California’s roads by 2045 and replace them with zero-emission vehicles. The Advance Clean Fleets proposal will first target the busiest trucking areas that disproportionately affect low-income and vulnerable communities, including warehouses, railways, and seaports.

The Trucking Industry Is Pushing Back

The trucking industry has pushed back on the ban, especially with the supply chain disruptions across the United States earlier this year. A Western States Trucking Association spokesperson said taking that many vehicles off the road could impact the economic slowdown.

The industry is bracing for more regulations affecting trucking fleets across the country as state regulators plan to phase out the sale of new diesel and gas-powered engines in the next 20 years. Trucking lobbyist groups said the move to zero-emission vehicles is logistically unfeasible, and they don’t really understand how to charge them.

The New Law Could Impact Farmers

The new law could also impact ranchers and farmers who use trucks to move perishable goods. The electric truck models are at least twice as expensive as diesel vehicles, take four hours, and range only 100 to 200 miles between charges.

There are a limited number of chargers in California. The California Trucking Association said to meet truck charging demands, the state must install 336 chargers every week until 2035. The power grid must supply an additional 65 megawatts weekly to support another 290,000 electric trucks.

The YouTube video below from KCRA 3 News reports about the state’s new ban on large trucks and buses.

Davis Personal Injury Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a personal injury attorney in Davis. Dealing with serious injuries after an auto accident is not always easy. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a preventable accident, call our legal team at (530) 392-9400 or (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice. You can also reach us through the online Contact Us form at

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Photo by Nigel Tadyanehondo on Unsplash

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