Rep. Cohen forced to check on ‘check engine’ light

 Don’t mess with Rep. Steve Cohen’s (D-Tenn.) 1999 Volvo. 

Despite the “check engine” light staying lit up on the silver convertible, Cohen says his vehicle “drives like a jewel. My car drives perfect. It doesn’t lurch. It starts instantly. Nothing wrong with the driving.”

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That’s why the congressman is perplexed by a new rule in his state that requires the “check engine” light to be off in order for the car to pass the emissions inspection test.

The indicator light on his ride, Cohen admits, has been on “for a while.” When he took the Volvo to a Memphis AutoZone to check on the “check engine” issue, he says the mechanic told him the problem likely wasn’t emissions-related.

While Cohen isn’t sure if the “check engine” mandate is coming from Tennessee or the federal Environmental Protection Agency, he tells ITK a tailpipe test would be a better measure of any emissions problems for a vehicle. He told local TV station WREG that he penned a letter to the EPA asking to meet about the requirement.

Now the lawmaker says he’ll have to dish out some dough and leave his trusty car in the hands of a mechanic to put a stop to the “check engine” issue. Luckily, however, the congressman won’t be without wheels for long.

Cohen says he’s “not good at getting rid of things.” He still has his father’s ’79 Cadillac, as well as an ’86 black Caddy that belonged to his mother. Other vehicles in his fleet: a 1976 Peugeot and a 1986 Alfa.

Cohen says he likes all his cars, and although he isn’t as sentimentally attached to the Volvo, he does appreciate his ride during certain seasons: “The top goes down in the summer. It keeps me breezy.”