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Does New Mexico Have Car Inspection Laws? 

Legal Team

Car inspection laws require vehicles to undergo regular safety inspections to ensure they meet certain safety standards. However, New Mexico no longer has car inspection laws in place.

Why New Mexico Does Not Have Car Inspection Laws

The repeal of New Mexico’s annual vehicle inspection law in the mid-1970s can be attributed to several key factors. One primary reason was economic. The state faced budgetary constraints, and the cost of maintaining inspection facilities and enforcing the annual inspections became a significant financial burden. In addition, these inspections only confirmed that headlights, tail lights, the windshield, and wipers were in working order. Other safety features such as brakes were not examined. As a result, the state now relies on law enforcement to cite drivers for the unsafe condition of their vehicles.

Emissions Testing

New Mexico requires vehicles 35 years old and newer to pass an emissions test every two years, but only in Bernalillo County. In addition, any time an applicable vehicle’s owner changes, an emissions test must be completed.

Diesel vehicles, 100% electric vehicles, vehicles weighing more than 10,000 lbs, motorcycles, ATVs, boats, and scooters are exempt from emissions testing.

What Happens if an Unsafe Vehicle Causes an Accident?

Although there are no mandatory car inspection laws in New Mexico, drivers have a legal duty to ensure that their vehicles are safe for operation on the road. This includes regular maintenance, addressing any known defects or issues, and promptly repairing any unsafe conditions.

If the owner knew or should have known about a safety issue with the vehicle and failed to address it, they may be considered negligent. Negligence is a legal concept that implies a failure to exercise reasonable care, which can lead to liability in the event of an accident.

However, if the accident was caused by a mechanical defect or faulty part that was not the fault of the vehicle owner (e.g., a manufacturing defect), liability may rest with the manufacturer, distributor, or supplier of the defective part.

In addition, if a third party, such as a mechanic or repair shop, performed negligent repairs or maintenance work that contributed to the accident, they may be held liable for their actions.

Types of Compensation That May Be Available

After an accident caused by an unsafe vehicle, several types of compensation may be available to the injured party. Firstly, medical expenses incurred as a result of the accident, including hospital bills, medication costs, rehabilitation, and future expenses. Additionally, lost wages due to the inability to work during recovery, and any the repair or replacement of any property damage.

To address non-economic losses, compensation may be available for pain and suffering, which encompasses physical and emotional distress experienced as a result of the accident. In cases of severe injuries resulting in long-term disabilities, there may be compensation for loss of earning capacity and more.

If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident caused by an unsafe vehicle, speak to a trusted Albuquerque Car Accident Lawyer. They can provide tailored advice based on the details of the situation.

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