An obsolete test required in California for regulatory approval is being blamed for the news Porsche wouldn’t sell the manual-transmission equipped 911 GT3 Touring package in the Golden State. You would still be able to buy one with an automatic, but not the stick. An “existing test procedure” was no longer valid, but California had no new test procedure to replace it. With no time left before approvals were needed Porsche had to cancel the availability of the GT3s with a manual.
Why couldn’t Porsche sell this particular 911 GT3?
You need to understand that California has more regulations, rules, test procedures, and mumbo-jumbo than any of the 49 other states. But without jumping through these hoops you can’t sell cars there. So Porsche was out of time and out of luck.
From a Porsche statement: “Discussions with the regulators continued but without visibility to a solution, we took the difficult decision to inform dealers that the manual option would no longer be available in California. There would be no way to legally register the cars in the state. We communicated this on June 15th, coinciding with the planned announcement of the 911 GT3 Touring package.”
California created a path forward for Porsche to get the manual-equipped GT3 tested
Without the test, the manual-equipped GT3 could not be legally registered in California. Once the state was made aware of the situation there was a kumbaya moment. It created a path forward for Porsche to get the manual-equipped GT3 tested, and there was joy in the streets.
Again from Porsche: “Following consultations with California authorities, Porsche Cars North America (PCNA) is pleased to confirm that its dealers will be able to sell the new 911 GT3 with a six-speed manual gearbox. This means that when the first cars arrive in the fall, they can be legally registered and driven in all 50 states. The work in the past week by the California DMV and California Highway Patrol to find a solution has been appreciated. It helped to identify an appropriate regulatory path forward.”
When it comes to regulations California has a lot of them
The state of California has its own regulatory rules, specifically as it applies to emissions. In some cases, it has stricter requirements than the EPA. So in many cases, the EPA takes California’s lead in adopting stricter regulations.
It is unfortunate that rather than helping to bring about fair regulations to help companies sell products, there are times when the state makes it harder. At least this time it recognized the problem that was created and swiftly corrected it.