Cop “Lies” to Driver, Says They Have to Pay $7,000 to Make Car Less Powerful

Mustafa Gatollari - Author
By

Jan. 6 2023, Published 9:52 p.m. ET

There are tons of laws in the United States that seem like they were devised solely to screw people out of money and/or make their lives difficult for no reason. Take putting a boot on someone's vehicle for parking too long in a single spot: it's clearly an act of extortion and defeats the original purpose of the parking law in question: if the car isn't supposed to be there why is there a device placed on the vehicle that's designed to make sure it can't move?

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It doesn't help that officers have been found guilty in the past of conspiring with tow truck companies in order to get kickbacks on every single "illegally" parked vehicle that they tow. Which is, you know, a massive conflict of interest.

Other laws involving cars that don't seem to make any sense whatsoever are ones involving dealerships as pretty much every auto manufacturer that does business in the US can't directly sell their cars to consumers.

The logic is that car companies would be able to undercut stores trying to make profit margins on the vehicles they sell from auto companies, but what ends up happening instead is that dealerships collude on price-fixing, and you have to spend hours arguing with some unscrupulous dirt bags trying to make as much money off of you as possible to get the vehicle for a fair amount of money.

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And while these laws are ridiculous, this one interaction recorded by a driver in California is truly mind-boggling. Mainly because it doesn't seem like the officer in question is accurately representing state traffic laws. And if he is, then this is a big, big problem.

Source: TikTok | @carcultureclub
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In a TikTok posted by @carcultureclub, footage of a dash cam from a driver recorded a conversation between them and a police officer. The conversation goes down like this:

Driver: Ahh man why am I getting pulled over. Hey officer how're ya doing?

Cop: Doing OK hey what year is this vehicle?

Driver: 22

Cop: Why is it backfiring? It's making noise.

Driver: I know. It's how it comes stock.

Cop: Really.

Driver: Yeah you can check under the hood if you'd like.

Cop: Oh no I'll just send you to the state Ref and what they'll do is send you back to the factory or whatever. Is it in track mode?

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cop lying track mode tiktok
Source: TikTok | @carcultureclub

Now this is where the driver messed up and they probably should've switched it to "standard" or "eco" while they were getting pulled over from the officer and played dumb, but instead this is is what happened.

Driver: Yeah it is.

Cop: OK so what they're going to do here, let me have your license, so what happens is I sent you to the State Ref right here in California. They're going to suspend your registration, OK?

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Driver: OK.

Cop: You can't drive the car you've got to take it to the State Ref they're going to look at it they're going to send you back to the dealer dealer has to remove the track options. You have to pay for it. It's about $4,000. Once that's been done you go back to the state ref to verify all the track modes have been removed. You cannot drive this on the road with the track mode.

cop lying track mode tiktok
Source: TikTok | @carcultureclub
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Let's take a pause in their conversation: the driver's being told that an automobile, that comes with a stock option available from a dealer, is apparently illegal to drive on the road in California.

The car in question appears to be a new Hyundai Elantra N-Line, and the cop really has an issue with the vehicle's exhaust. It didn't take long for video of this incident to go viral online and drum up a lot of ire from gearheads.

In Hyundai-Forums, many agreed that the main problem in the video is the fact that the person who was pulled over answered the officer's questions and that the stock exhaust on the N-Line was too loud. In the state of California, the loudest an exhaust can reach is 95 decibels.

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cop lying track mode tiktok
Source: TikTok | @carcultureclub

Apparently the loudest the N-Line's exhaust gets is 102 decibels, but averages around a 98.

Now look, of course the majority of folks look at people who like driving cars with grating, obnoxiously loud exhausts as pathetic losers who are overcompensating for having a lame personality.

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However, it doesn't seem very fair that someone who purchased a vehicle that was legally registered in the state of California is all of a sudden made illegal and the driver is forced to go through an entire song and dance and pay money out of their own pocket to address an issue an auto manufacturer and the state's regulatory bodies should've addressed beforehand.

cop lying track mode tiktok
Source: TikTok | @carcultureclub
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If the State Ref doesn't want exhausts louder than 95 decibels on the road, then why did they allow the sale of Elantra N-Lines in California?

The officer's allegation that you cannot be riding around with a track mode car on the road in California sounds highly suspect: then that would mean tons of performance vehicles would need to be downgraded at the State Ref as a result. Which includes a large number of Teslas, the most popular state where the electric cars are purchased and driven. Ever hear of Ludicrous Mode? Yes, it's fast.

cop lying track mode tiktok
Source: TikTok | @carcultureclub
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Now let's get back to the conversation. After the Officer tells the driver that they need to pay a bunch of money to downgrade their car:

Driver: I'm sorry I didn't know that.

Cop: Well you won't be able to anymore you've just lost this and you're going to spend about seven grand on this car right now. Go ahead and get me the registration I don't need to look under the hood.

Driver: OK.

Cop: You can't track rally motor illegal on the road.

Driver: I'm sorry I didn't know that.

Cop: Well it's your money not mine.

Driver: Right, right.

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cop lying track mode tiktok
Source: TikTok | @carcultureclub

Cop: They tell you this at the dealer. If not you could sue the dealer for money. If you want your $4-$5,000 back.

Driver: Sure, sure. Yeah they didn't tell me that.

Cop: No, I'm, sure they did, they're required by law.

Driver: Oh is that so?

Cop: You cannot operate track mode on the road.

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Driver: OK. Yeah they didn't tell me that.

Cop: Well then I would sue them all right for this ticket.

Driver: OK.

Cop: You're gonna have to get the insurance

Driver: Sure.

cop lying track mode tiktok
Source: TikTok | @carcultureclub
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Commenters who saw the clip expressed that the cop was probably lying and just going on a "powertrip." The real issue, however is that the driver admitted to having the car in high performance N-Line mode, when again, he should've switched it back to regular drive mode and simply told the officer that the exhaust was stock.

Unless the officer measured the decibels of the car's exhaust, they wouldn't really have much of a case against the driver.

What do you think of what the officer said? Or are you just happy that someone with a loud exhaust got pulled over, giving folks some peace and quiet for a bit?

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