Is this a safety problem? - Updated

Is this a safety problem? - Updated


So Melanie’s “Murphy’s Day” has a sequel: “Weekend at Murphy’s”. To recap: Melanie locked the keys in the minivan yesterday while she was out with the kids at the post office plus her iBook’s AC adapter died.

Today, I left work a little early to stop and get my auto inspection sticker—Massachusetts’ annual safety and emissions testing regime designed to soak “revenue enhancements” out of taxpayers for the privilege of owning a car and driving. Even though I have a bit of a bumper problem, as in one side of the plastic fascia is hanging a bit because of a mishap Melanie had a couple of years ago, and a license plate problem, because it got a bit crunched by a Jeep that backed into Melanie, I wasn’t worried about it failing the safety inspection since the same station passed the car in the same condition last year.

You see where this is going.

So now it is illegal to drive my car until I fix those two items and get the car re-inspected. Meanwhile we have to figure out some way for me to travel 30 miles each way to work every day until then while also having a car available for Melanie in emergencies and even just to run her regular errands. Unfortunately, public transportation is no help for me because we live at the opposite extremity of the MBTA system from work. (This is the reason we’re looking for a new home!)

Very frustrated now. About all I can do at the moment is pray for patience and that the Lord’s will be done.

Update: Took the care in today to the shop I should have gone to in the first place. Long story, short: He eventually fit me into his busy day, wired the hanging bumper back into place (it had torn loose the screw holes), and then gave me a passing inspection sticker (ignoring the license plate which I don’t think is part of their inspection scheme anyway). The best part is he only charged me for the inspection, not for fixing the bumper. (I could have gone back to the original place to have them re-inspect it for free, but they were so rude and unhelpful I didn’t want to see them again. The additional $29 was a small price to pay to fix the bumper.)

And so after only 1 missed day of work (or more accurately, working from home) we’re back in business. Thank God.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons. Photo is in the public domain.

  • That’s only for an emissions failure, not a safety failure. What’s annoying is that (a) he listed the bumper as “sheet metal” sticking out, when it’s merely plastic and cosmetic and (b) the plate is not a safety or emissions feature.

  • Hey Dom, this might sound crazy, but can you cut off whatever is sticking out?  And then can you bend the plate back to a proper hanging position?

    The reason I’m asking is that years ago, we had a real beater of a car that by some miracle had passed the emissions test, only to fail inspection because we had put cardboard in a side window in lieu of replacing the glass that thieves had shattered.    The man told us he couldn’t pass us with that cardboard.    We asked him what if we took it out (it was beautifully, neatly, and tightly duct taped in, so that wasn’t our first choice).    He said there was nothing in the law that said we HAD to have a glass window, just that the view needed to be unobstructed.

    We took it out, he passed us, we it right back in and went on our way proudly displaying our legal inspection sticker.