Jesus Vasquez drove from the San Francisco area to Nogales on his way to Guadalajara, but Mexican inspectors sent him back to Tucson for an emissions test. The Chevrolet Silverado he was driving, which belongs to his son-in-law, never could produce the computer data to pass the emissions test, and Vasquez ended up driving home.

Here's an irony for you:

Mexico may be requiring emissions tests for vehicles exported from the United States, as I reported Sunday, but it does not uniformly require one of the most important anti-pollution devices: catalytic converters.

For years, border-area car sellers have taken advantage of the fact that only some parts of Mexico, such as Mexico City, require catalytic converters in automobiles. Nora Badillo, co-owner with her husband of Alex's Tires in Nogales, told me people in the United States often have sold cars in Mexico, removed the catalytic converter, then returned to the United States to sell the catalytic converter for maybe an extra $100.

"Thousands of those cars are in Mexico," Badillo said.

I'm trying to verify exactly where the converters are required in Mexico, and where they're not. The point is: A car could make it into Mexico legally, with a recent emissions test, but then have its catalytic converter removed, also legally, depending on the jurisdiction where the car is registered.





Mexico's new rule requiring emissions tests for cars imported from the United Stats