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Later squatter! ‘Carolina Squat’ now illegal in North Carolina


A truck modification known as the “Carolina Squat” intended to raise the front and lower the back of the truck or SUV is now illegal in North Carolina. 

The look, which seems to be related to the way Baja trucks are designed to handle jumps, can either be attained with a front lift kit and a lowered kit in the rear or through just raising the front and/or lowering the back. It has been a growing trend among some truck owners especially in North Carolina, where it gets its name, and has sparked many heated debates on social media.

The look is illegal in North Carolina, starting on December 1, 2021, thanks to House Bill 692 the state’s Governor Roy Cooper signed earlier in the year.

The bill was brought to the attention of lawmakers after a Change.org petition garnered more than 70,000 signatures. 


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Why ban the Carolina Squat look?

Critics of the modification say it is dangerous to the vehicle owners as well as others on the road.

When you squat a truck like this, you not only have less of the front tires contacting the road leading to poor braking and steering issues, you also have problems with seeing the road at night with the headlights now pointed much higher into the air.

With the off-balance vehicle, there are also concerns about driving safely in poor weather as well as concerns about what happens in an accident. 

The law

House Bill 692 seems to take direct aim at squatted trucks with its language:

“A private passenger automobile shall not be modified or altered by elevating the automobile more than 3 inches from the manufacturer’s specified height in the front and lowering the automobile more than 2 inches from the manufacturer’s specified height in the rear.”

This means you can still lift or lower your truck, you just can’t do both. 

Violators of the law could see their license revoked for a year if they are caught three times breaking the law.

The bottom line on the Carolina Squat

Customizing your truck has long been a big part of ownership, yet this modification seems to push the boundaries of being dangerous. It’s good to see something being done about it, and we hope other lawmakers consider similar bans throughout the country. To be clear, I support the right to modify your truck, yet modifications should be vetted for safety.

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Tim Esterdahl

Automotive Journalist Tim Esterdahl has been a lover of trucks and SUVs for years. He has covered the industry since 2011 and has pieces in many national magazines and newspapers. In his spare time, he is often found tinkering on his '62 C10 pickup, playing golf, going hunting and hanging out with his wife and kids in Nebraska.

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