California Officer Targets Stock Hyundai Elantra N for Loud Exhaust

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

Slap a loud exhaust and bootleg mods on your car, and your chances of having a lousy day increase exponentially. You’re far more likely to experience a breakdown, and that’s before the attention you’ll get from law enforcement. One owner of a Hyundai Elantra N in California recently had a terrible day, but not for the reasons you might think. 

The owner, Reddit user OkCandidate103, got way more than a ticket when he was pulled over for a loud exhaust in his Elantra N. Despite the car being stock, it still exceeded the legal exhaust sound level of 95 decibels, as the valves in the exhaust open in different drive modes. The officer was not particularly interested in the driver’s arguments, telling him that he’d need to have the dealership remove Sport mode from the car and noting that he’d likely owe upwards of $7,000 for the fix.

As for how to “fix” a stock vehicle, that’s anyone’s guess. What is clear is that the Hyundai owner has a major headache on their hands. A citation is an apparent outcome here, but the officer also suspended the car’s registration, rendering it undrivable. YouTuber Entense also pointed out that the officer wanted to suspend the driver’s license but stopped short after finding out it wasn’t possible.

Look, as an enthusiast, it’s easy to get riled up about over-enforcement here, but shouldn’t Hyundai have done a better job of making sure their car didn’t tiptoe so close to the law? As for the officer, it’s hard to believe a ticket and suspended registration is the right decision, especially when it’s fairly apparent that it’s impossible to “fix” an unbroken and unmodified car. 

[Image: Hyundai]

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Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

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2 of 28 comments
  • Roadscholar Roadscholar on Oct 04, 2022

    My 3k mile Veloster N has been at the dealer for 2 weeks for an engine misfire. At least I didn't get a ticket but I'd like to have my car back eventually.

  • Heron Heron on Oct 05, 2022

    Might want to buy a db meter and use it before your next purchase.

  • Cprescott I'm sure this won't matter to the millions of deceived Honduh owners who think the company that once prided itself on quality has somehow slipped in the real world. Same for Toyoduhs. Resting on our Laurel's - Oh, what a feeling!
  • Jrhurren I had this happen numerous times with my former Accord. It usually occurred when on a slow right curve in the road. Somehow the system would get confused and think the opposite lane (oncoming traffic) was an impending head-on collision.
  • Cprescott The Ford Shamaro is ugly, thick bodied, and a Mustang pretender.
  • Analoggrotto Speaking of mud, does anyone here enjoy naked mud wrestling?
  • Jkross22 Nope. Too expensive, too little wear. Besides, there are so many great all seasons that are great to use that last longer, the use case for summer tires has gotten smaller.