Planet Gore

GM Backs Out of Mercury-Collection Program

Hey, we’re Government Motors. This isn’t our job anymore:

WASHINGTON — General Motors has quit working with a partnership that collects toxic mercury parts from scrapped automobiles, jeopardizing the project just as hundreds of thousands of clunkers are heading to the scrap yard.

Participants in the environmental program tell The Associated Press that the timing of GM’s departure could hurt their work to prevent mercury pollution.

GM officials say the new company that came out of the automaker’s financial problems — a company heavily financed by the federal government — isn’t responsible for the problem.

Roughly 36 million mercury switches were used in trunk convenience lights and antilock brakes in vehicles built in the 1980s and 1990s. More than half of them are in GM vehicles built before 2000.

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