Last week, legislation was introduced that has been described as "Cash for Clunkers with a twist."
SEMA said this week that the grassroots efforts to prevent Congress from including a nationwide “Cash for Clunkers” program in the economic stimulus package have been successful so far. At SEMA’s request, thousands of SEMA members and SEMA Action Network (SAN) enthusiasts, contacted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in opposition to the plan. The Speaker’s office told SEMA that your e-mails, calls and faxes were received and thanks to your work, Cash for Clunkers was not included in the economic stimulus package introduced last week in the House of Representatives.
Unfortunately, several members of Congress did not hear the message and last week introduced separate legislation called the “Accelerated Retirement of Inefficient Vehicles Act.” This is Cash for Clunkers with a twist, according to SEMA. Instead of focusing exclusively on older cars, this program would target “gas guzzlers” (18 mpg or less) of any model year. The legislation would establish a government program to use taxpayer dollars to purchase and crush vehicles into blocks of scrap metal. The cash vouchers would range from $2,500$4,500 based on the model year and whether the replacement vehicle was a fuel-efficient new car or used car (MY 2004 or later). Fuel-efficient is defined as getting at least 25 percent better mileage for the corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) target for its class. The bill sponsors want to scrap up to 1 million cars a year for at least four years.
Note: A number of industry associations joined SEMA in voicing opposition to the Cash for Clunkers program, including the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA), Automotive Engine Rebuilders Association (AERA), Automotive Parts Remanufacturers Association (APRA), Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA), Automotive Transmission Rebuilders Association (ATRA), Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) and Tire Industry Association (TIA).