Monday, 12 January 2009 13:41

ARA urges congress to protect consumers vehicle and automotive part choices

Congress is busy developing a stimulus plan to address the serious concerns with the American economy.  One provision under consideration would provide car owners’ federal funds if they trade-in their older vehicles for vouchers to obtain newer, more fuel efficient vehicles. The Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) continues to urge the U.S. Congress to address deficiencies in vehicle retirement programs that could adversely affect American consumers’ pocketbooks and limit their motor vehicle choices.  ARA opposes any vehicle retirement legislation that restricts the sale of high quality, low cost “green” recycled auto parts.

Over the past several months, professional automotive recyclers have articulated our concerns to members of Congress and stakeholders regarding restrictive vehicle retirement programs that prohibit the sale of high quality, low cost “green” recycled auto parts for consumers.  What may be a voluntary program for a consumer turning in a vehicle on the front end, quickly becomes a compulsory program for other consumers on the back end from reduced access to replacement parts for vehicle repair and inflated prices on those essential replacement parts.  Not to mention, the harmful effects on the independent automotive repair facilities in the United States that employ more than 850,000 people.

Unless crafted properly, vehicle retirement programs paint a bull's eye on countless small businesses in the professional automotive recycling industry by eliminating some of the very vehicles, vehicle parts, and marketing opportunities that the industry needs to survive.  Since “recycled” parts used in the repair and upkeep of mid to older vehicles is the back bone of commerce for our nation’s automotive recyclers, any restrictive motor vehicle retirement programs pose serious economic threats to the industry.

In addition, current proposals being floated contain “vague” language on appropriate measures to ensure that the deregistered automobile or light-duty trucks are handled in an environmentally responsible manner.  Also, no standards are suggested for setting fair or adequate payment levels for the processing of vehicles that are turned in under this program.  As professional automotive recyclers, our business is to efficiently and environmentally responsibly process end-of-life motor vehicles.  Unfortunately, we time and time again are subject to unfunded mandates related to vehicle retirement or automotive component disposal concerns. 

Since 1943, the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) represents an industry dedicated to the efficient removal and reuse of “green” automotive parts, and the proper disposal of inoperable motor vehicles. ARA represents over 4,500 auto recycling facilities through direct or affiliated memberships in the United States and fourteen other countries around the world. With programs such as the Certified Automotive Recycler Program (CAR) and other partnerships, ARA members continue to provide consumers with quality, low cost alternatives for vehicle replacement parts, while preserving our environment for a “greener” tomorrow.

To learn more about the Association, visit ARA’s Home Page at http://www.a-r-a.org or call (703) 385-1001.