California Abandons Plan to Destroy Pre-1970 Cars

Under pressure from SEMA, environmental groups and automobile hobbyists, legislation that threatened to allow carmakers to crush pre-1970 vehicles in exchange for credits toward their obligations under the state’s Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program was discarded by California legislators.The bill has been re-written to help ensure the purchase of reduced emission schoolbuses and diesel mitigation programs in low-income communities.
Under the abandoned bill, owners who surrendered their vehicles for destruction would have received a voucher of at least $2,500 for the purchase of a newer vehicle.The program was intended for implementation in low-income communities located in areas of the state designated as having severe air pollution.“SEMA feels strongly that this scrappage provision represented an ill-conceived and failed approach to cleaning the air and would have actually hurt more low-income drivers than it would have helped,” said SEMA Director of Government Affairs Steve McDonald.“Essentially, this bill ignored the fact that lower income car owners often cannot afford to purchase new or even newer used vehicles with the money provided by this program.”
SEMA has long maintained that programs that call for the destruction of certain vehicles rely on the flawed premise that by scrapping older cars the state will reduce emissions.The fact is, this is rarely the case.The bill provided no means by which to verify emissions reductions from vehicles destroyed and failed to recognize that pre-1970 cars are few in number and typically rarely driven.“This program would have unfairly provided flexibility to auto manufacturers at the expense of automotive hobbyists and low-income drivers and made no provision for rescuing valuable parts and parts-cars for repair and restoration projects,” McDonald added.
SEMA is a national trade association composed of more than 4,600 member companies that make up the specialty automotive equipment industry.The seven diverse niches in which SEMA members specialize include light truck, off-road, racing and performance, street rod and restoration, and restyling.All combined, the markets add up to $24.68 billion in retail business annually.