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SEMA challenges 'Cash for Clunkers' claims

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The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA)  is disputing claims that vehicle scrappage programs, like the proposed "Cash for Clunkers" initiative, will reduce the United States' dependency on foreign-sourced oil.

"Scrappage programs accelerate the demise of older vehicles, which are typically crushed into blocks of metal," say SEMA officials. "These 'Cash for Clunkers' programs focus on a car's age or fuel efficiency rather than its actual emissions or how much it is driven."

SEMA argues that "environmental claims made by some Congressional lawmakers do not withstand scrutiny. Given the low value of the cash vouchers being offered to consumers to purchase a new vehicle (generally ranging from $2,000 to $5,000), the facts demonstrate that vehicles traded in for demolition could include late model vehicles that have been damaged in accidents or have mechanical problems. The programs also collect rarely driven second or third vehicles."

SEMA officials say the association supports tax incentives and other measures that encourage owners to repair, maintain or upgrade their vehicles.

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