Because I want a car that will depreciate faster than my 2014 Genesis 5.0 R-Spec, I inquired at a local Pennsylvania Dodge dealer about a 2016 Dart GT with a manual transmission. After a week of them trying to order one for me, I was told that the factory would not sell the Dart GT with a manual transmission to PA dealers because of something to do with emissions.
I figured I was being given the runaround so I did a search and, sure enough, there were no 2016 Dodge Dart GTs with manual transmissions for sale in PA.
I can’t say I have ever heard of someone wanting to trade in their semi-luxury, full-size sedan for a lukewarm compact that’s about to be killed off. Nor have I ever thought Dodge would thwart a potential sale based on not meeting emissions while, at the same time, buying all those CAFE credits every year.
However, the reason the dealer provided you for not being able to order a Dodge Dart GT with a stick is right and wrong at the same time.
Pennsylvania is one of 13 states that have adopted California’s emissions standards. The others are Arizona, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. That makes it more difficult to sell vehicles in these states and why California-based “The Price is Right” always mentions those free cars meeting such standards.
Nonetheless, Dodge itself declared the Dodge Dart GT a Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (PZEV) in 2015:
New for the 2015 model year, the 2.4-liter Tigershark MultiAir2 engine is available as a Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (PZEV), which entails a new fuel filler neck, new air cleaner, new engine downpipe, revised fuel tank, modified vapor purge canister and new fuel cap. This engine is available in the 14 California Air Resources Board (CARB) states.
That seems like a lot of engineering. So why is it that the Dodge Dart GT can’t be sold in Pennsylvania when Dodge themselves went through all the extra effort of engineering the car to meet the CARB standard?
As it turns out, FCA’s ordering system was on the fritz.
“Your inquiry this morning alerted us to an internal glitch in the system dealers use to order cars,” explained Kathy Graham, FCA’s product public relations manager for compact and mid-size vehicles. “In short, there was confusion in the system between the PZEV engine and the 50 state engines, and it showed that dealers couldn’t order a Dart GT manual in Pennsylvania. We’ve corrected the error and dealers in Pennsylvania should now be able to order a Dart GT with a manual transmission.”
Fortunately for FCA, manual Dodge Dart GTs are a small percentage of overall Dart sales and the glitch was short lived, but it did affect all CARB states.
So, thanks to TTAC, you can now order a manual Dodge Dart GT in Pennsylvania … or Maine, or Vermont, or California.
You’re welcome — or sorry.