CARS program’s salvage period extended

WASHINGTON — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) this week expanded by 90 days the amount of time salvage yards have to harvest and reuse non-engine components under the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) program. Engines were required to be permanently disabled for environmental reasons.

Under the new rule, disposal facilities now have a total of 270 days before they have to dispose of the scrapped vehicles they received from dealers that were traded in by consumers under the CARS program. Initially, salvage yards had 180 days to dispose of the scrapped vehicles.

“This extension provides an added economic benefit to the wildly popular CARS program, and is a win for both the environment and for automotive consumers,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray A. LaHood. “It gives more time for salvage yards to harvest and recycle valuable automotive equipment and offers consumers greater access to reliable, lower-cost used car parts.”

NHTSA said it is allowing salvage yards more time to recycle scrapped vehicles because the initial 180-day scrap time frame was based on the original $1 billion, 250,000-vehicle CARS program, as initially authorized by Congress.

Due to the popularity of the program, Congress subsequently increased funding for the program to a total of $3 billion, which resulted in nearly 700,000 older vehicles ultimately being traded in.

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