Vehicle recyclers have been selling powerplants salvaged from models destined for the scrap yard, effectively putting the old polluting units back on the road. What’s more, small print means they’re technically doing nothing wrong!
When these cars are part-exchanged at a dealer, they’re sent to an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF) for disposal. But once a Certificate of Destruction (CoD) is issued – confirming the vehicle is permanently off the road – and all the fluids and pollutants have been removed, the ATF is free to dismantle and sell parts for spares.
Not surprisingly, the practice has also been condemned by eco campaigners.
"The initiative should encourage drivers to replace older models with cleaner cars," said Friends of the Earth’s Mr Richard Dyer. "This is keeping polluting vehicles on the road."
Industry data suggests engine recycling isn’t helping cut national CO2 emissions either with the average figure of older vehicles scrapped* being 169g/km, or 16g/km more than the average of new vehicles sold.
More than 280,000 new cars were sold through the UK's scrappage scheme last year – more than 10 per cent of the two million UK total.
*The average age of vehicles scrapped under the UK scheme was 13 years.