Vehicles with illegal modifications to undergo more frequent inspections

A car with illegal rear exhaust modification without silencer.
A car with illegal rear exhaust modification without silencer.PHOTO: LAND TRANSPORT AUTHORITY

SINGAPORE - From Nov 1, motorists caught with illegally modified engines or exhaust systems in their vehicles for a second or subsequent time will be subjected to more frequent mandatory vehicle inspections.

Under this enhanced inspection regime, second-time offenders will be required to bring their vehicles for mandatory inspections every six months for a period of two years, while third-time or subsequent offenders will need to bring their vehicles for mandatory inspections every three months for a period of two years.

This represents a more stringent inspection regime as compared to that for normal vehicles, which are typically inspected once every one or two years, depending on their age and type.

"Any owner who does not comply with the inspection regime is guilty of an offence and can be fined up to $1,000 or jailed for up to three months on conviction for the first offence," the Land Transport Authority said in a statement on Wednesday (Oct 28).

"On conviction for a second or subsequent offence of failing to comply, the maximum penalty will be doubled."

This latest move will complement existing penalties to deter motorists from modifying their vehicle engines or exhaust systems illegally.

Any person who is convicted of an illegal modification can be fined up to $2,000 or jailed for up to three months, for the first offence.

Repeat offenders can be fined up to $5,000 or jailed up to six months.

In addition, if a vehicle is found with a tampered engine, it will need to be deregistered and the owner may not be granted scrap rebates.

The LTA said illegal modifications can create serious safety and environmental hazards.

Once a vehicle's engine or exhaust system is modified without due certification and approval, the existing vehicle components may not be able to handle the increased power or speed. Such modifications may also affect the durability and reliability of a vehicle.

Currently, motorists may choose to legally install aftermarket exhaust systems that are certified to be suitable for the specific vehicle make and model.

These exhaust systems, which are specifically designed and engineered for a particular vehicle make and model, will have undergone testing either by the vehicle manufacturer or by independent test laboratories, to ensure compliance with internationally recognised standards.