Washington, D.C. – An amendment has been added to the U.S. “cash for clunkers” bill to exclude vehicles 1985 and older, helping to safeguard older vehicles and their parts for hobbyists, and to allow all parts to be recycled except the engine.

Congress was persuaded by the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) to exclude older vehicles from the bill, which would see consumers receive a voucher worth up to US$4,500 to help buy a new car in exchange for scrapping a less fuel-efficient vehicle. SEMA said the provision covers vehicles that may possess historic or aesthetic value, and are irreplaceable to hobbyists as a source of restoration parts. Under the provision, vehicle drivetrains can also be recycled, providing the transmission, drive shaft or rear end are sold as separate parts.

The legislation was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives by a 298-119 vote. It is backed by President Obama and is expected to pass the Senate in the near future. Proponents claim that the program, which will last for one year, may create an estimated 625,000 vehicle sales.

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