Automotive Aftermarket Industry Opposes Federal Vehicle Scrappage Legislation
Washington— Representatives of the automotive aftermarket
industry vow to fight federal funding of old vehicle scrappage ("car
crusher") programs included in the U.S. Department of Transportation's
"Safe and Flexible Transportation Efficiency Act of 2003" (SAFETEA)
which was released May 14, 2003.
Title I, Section 1601 of the SAFETEA would reverse a
long-standing prohibition on federal funding of state-run vehicle scrappage
plans through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program
(CMAQ), administered by the Federal Highway Administration. In this case,
U.S. taxpayer dollars would be used to purchase and crush cars made in
1979 and before.
Under this program, states would use federal CMAQ funds
to turn pre-1980 vehicles into blocks of scrap metal. "Classic"
or "parts cars" would not be spared from the crusher. Salvageable
used parts would be lost rather than being rebuilt and reused to keep
other vehicles running.
In addition, there is no guarantee scrapped vehicles
would be replaced by cleaner running or more fuel-efficient models. Scrappage
programs typically offer owners who surrender vehicles for crushing a
cash payment towards the purchase of another vehicle. However, the payment
hardly is enough to cover the cost of even a down payment on a newer used
car; and there is nothing to prevent someone from receiving payment for
scrapping a clean-running and fuel- efficient 1979 compact car and replacing
it with a potentially more-polluting, and likely less fuel-efficient light
truck or SUV.
The automotive aftermarket is a nearly $250 billion
industry which employs approximately four million Americans in all 50
states. It is comprised of independent businesses that manufacture, rebuild,
distribute, retail and install vehicle parts and perform service on all
types of motor vehicles, including the older vehicles this legislation
targets. Vehicle owners throughout the United States depend daily on aftermarket
parts and service.