Heated news for California owners as the state is attempting to pass a bill that threatens vehicles over 20 years of age to be taken off the road and potentially scrapped for state revenue. This would allow the state to set aside funding to continue it’s modernization of emission cleaning and to push off passenger cars or light-medium duty trucks that are labeled as “high polluters.” Are you freaking serious? Now I’m an eco-head at heart when it comes to ideas that make sense, but to create another stimulus to better suit our funding of state departments that does more hurt than good, big nope here.
This of course isn’t the first time a bill has come along that threatens the car/truck culture in all parts of the community. Other states have tried to adopt similar programs that could assist in helping cleanse the public of the evil rust buckets that lurk the wastelands, a la cash-for-clunkers 2009, but it comes as no surprise that this could be a serious disrupter to the local California yards and pick-n-pulls. Any yard that has a large amount of property that feels they could benefit from this could mean a low inventory of useful parts for guys/gals like us truly in the next decade. Owners who can’t battle and take a some-what proposed $5,000 rebate for their trade-in would disrupt future purchases of people seeking that classic 20 years later.
Imagine trying to get your ’82 Civic smogged checked, you fight the fight at a local station to get it passed and then suddenly get offered to purchase a brand new hybrid Accord that’s in the dealers lot next to you with a strong incentive? (Cash for clunkers deja vu) Tempting as it may be and probably working for most. Like Grandma Johns that owns a mint Acura Legend with low mileage down the street and can’t get it fixed because she doesn’t know any better. That Legend could end up being a key piece for a Honda enthusiast in the future years. What the state governs as a high polluter might be stretched to include low-polluting vehicles and the Legend is out. It’ll happen if the program flexes it’s liberal muscle.
Hemming’s magazine recently posted this up about the details: “The definition of ‘old, dirty car’ doesn’t appear to include any model-year cutoff dates, but does depend on the vehicle showing potential for remaining on the road in California, which means that it must pass a smog test. The existing EFMP only stipulates that the ‘old, dirty cars’ be sent to an auto dismantler.”
Even if the 9% percent of California’s vehicles on the road today are over 20 years old, does this include non-registered vehicles that could be sitting around waiting for a home? Probably not, but the ideology of this is a strong domino effect that may ruin parts sourcing and disrupting our beloved hobbies. Granted the bill has to be passed and wont’ be in effect till July 2017, it’s still a disturbing take on how the states are always up to something and the 2009 disrupter that happened nationwide could kick it’s ugly head around again.
The AB-1965 Bill is public via the California Legislative Information site for those interested in checking it out more details.