"One-fourth of the vehicles on (Missouri’s) highways are defective."

Dave Muntzel on Monday, February 25th, 2019 in legislative remarks

Are a quarter of vehicles on Missouri highways defective?

Missouri is one of 15 states that requires mandatory inspections for non-commercial vehicles.

The state requires that vehicles more than 5 years old receive an inspection to renew a vehicle license every two years.

With the introduction of House Bill 451, this could all change.

The bill seeks to repeal the requirement that all motor vehicles more than 5 years old must obtain an inspection before the vehicle may be licensed. The bill would require inspections for vehicles at least 10 years old or more with 150,000 miles.

Rep. Dave Muntzel, R-Booneville, spoke out against the bill on the Missouri House floor.

Muntzel said that "a fourth of vehicles on our (Missouri’s) highways are defective."

He continued, "So now we’re wanting to take vehicle inspections away and put these vehicles on the road. I don’t want any of them coming down the road at me."

After reaching out to Muntzel, he told us that the figure he claimed came from a report from the Missouri State Highway Patrol. This report came from data collected from all of the inspection stations in Missouri.

The report from the highway patrol showing the number of vehicles that passed or failed inspection can be found in the fiscal notes of the bill.

Lt. Collin M. Stosberg, director of the Public Information and Education Division of the Missouri Highway Patrol, confirmed the numbers. "When you look at vehicles 10 to 20 years old, the rejection rate is approximately 25%," he said.

"Also, 51 percent of all vehicles registered in Missouri are over 10 years old," Strosberg added.

According to him, Missouri has a 19% rejection rate for all vehicles statewide that are inspected (which means they are at least five years old).

The bill passed the Missouri House of Representatives in March. It has been referred to the Transportation, Infrastructure and Public Safety committee after its second reading in the Senate. As of April 4. there has been no more progress.

One of the reasons this bill was introduced was to help those in rural areas of Missouri.

There is a current hardship to rural residents in an attempt to fulfill the requirement so regularly that often accounts to a 45-minute or more drive, supporters of the bill say.

Our ruling

Muntzel said that one fourth of the vehicles on Missouri highways are defective.

That’s leaving out important context. He made it sound like this number applied to all vehicles on the highway. In fact, this figure applies to vehicles that are 10 to 20 years old, which have an inspection rejection rate of 25 percent.

Under current law, only vehicles more than five years old require inspection. For vehicles more than five years old that require inspection, 19 percent fail.

Furthermore, Muntzel’s claim that one fourth of vehicles are defective wouldn’t be much different under the new bill. This is because the claim is referring to vehicles 10 to 20 years old. Vehicles 10 years and older would still require the same amount of inspections they are currently held to, one every two years, under House Bill 451.

Muntzel’s statement needs more context that the vehicles in this figure are more than 10 years old. One fourth of all vehicles on Missouri highways are not defective. We rate this claim Half True.

You can find your nearest inspection site at: Mshp.dps.missouri.gov.