Bay Area's eligible model year for vehicle buy-back program expanded to 1996

Bay Area Air Quality Management District logo courtesy of Twitter account @AirDistrict.

The eligible model year for the Bay Area's Vehicle Buy Back Program has been expanded to vehicles as recent as 1996, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District announced.

Previously, only 1994 and older vehicles were accepted. The program pays $1,000 to owners to voluntarily retire their old, highly polluting vehicles.

"The single largest source of air pollution in the region is from automobiles and small trucks," said Jack Broadbent, executive director of the air district, in a statement.

The vehicles must be registered to an address within the air district's nine-county jurisdiction that meet all program requirements.

These requirements include that the vehicle must be from the 1996 model year or older; it must be registered as operable and must be drivable; it must have been registered in the Bay Area for the last 24 months; and vehicles within 60 days of a required smog check must take and pass smog check.

The idea is to get older vehicles lacking modern air pollution controls off the road, because they pollute more heavily, according to the air district.