According to this post the Japanese have a very strict system of auto inspection:
The first ones to talk to the government about this were the car manufacturers,
and they convinced the government to enforce a rule that used cars have to go to
the technical inspection after 3 years, and this is a costly matter since a
check costs between 1500 and 3500 EUR. Once you’re in the system, you have to
get your car checked every 2 years, and once your car is 10 years old, you need
to go there every year. This is a reson why the Japanese change cars quite fast,
usually before the car is 3 years old. Important aspect is that you have no
control whatsoever on the cost of possible repairs, because after the technical
check, the car is driven to the garage and they do the repairs that the
technical check asked them to do, you just get the bill with your car. A very
nice rip-off… and this system is being envied by a lot of other domains, like
the electronics domain at this moment. So from April 1st 2006, ALL electronic
products sold in Japan before 2001 will be prohibited from the 2nd hand market!
Comments are open if you have more information on these interesting policies. I guarantee there is a dissertation or two here. Here is my previous post on state car "safety" programs.
Thanks to Boing Boing Blog for the link.
Addendum: An informed reader noted that the post is incorrect about electronic products being banned, major appliances will have to be inspected something like autos but the inspection doesn’t apply to computers.