Leave the little guy alone. Go Macro!
I have concerns with the environment as well but can hardly profess that I live in an energy austere environment, driving a 5-liter Euro model without a smog pump or anything. I am not trying to justify my emissions.
But I do feel that the EPA and DOT are practicing pseudo-science and make decisions based on less than proven technology. Although the new vehicles have excellent emission reductions systems and electronic controls, there were times that they were simply reaching in the dark. The smog pump is one of them. The vehicles were between technologies. It is a major burden to keep these marginal systems in use. How about the “trap oxidizer”? Sure, you could scrap all the vehicles but pity the poor enthusiasts that happen to like that vintage. Few of these vehicles are even worth maintaining in the long run so most will go to the bone yard. If a few shade-tree mechanics disable these goofy systems it won’t make much of a difference. There are very few people who do their own auto work and it is getting a lot smaller because of the reduced maintenance requirements and increased system complexities. Only the few die-hards who actually enjoy the work will continue so the 640 million vehicles is not really an appropriate value.
If the government and citizens were interested in reduced emissions they would apply CAFÉ and emissions standards and to SUVs. V-10s and all the huge vehicles would be less popular but they are not. Too few are concerned with the problems and the SUV users don’t give a lick about efficiency, pollution or safety of others. (e.g.: Mass and bumper inequities). Go after them, the reduction yield would be far greater. (All IMHO).
1985 Mercedes 500SL Euro (Gray market)
1995 BMW 520i Euro (Gray market)
1992 BMW 525it Wagon
1994 Honda Del Sol Si