According to Bloomberg, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration got wind that some cars being turned in under Germany's Cash-For-Clunkers program were being certified as destroyed, but actually being resold. To prevent that scenario from repeating itself in the U.S., land of Honest Abe, dealers have apparently been instructed to fill the engines of trade-ins with sodium silicate and run them for seven minutes in order to permanently disable them.
Early reports from around the country indicate that Cash-For-Clunkers is having the intended effect, and the authorities want to make sure no one takes undue advantage by making money on the turned-in vehicles. Normally sodium silicate, often referred to as "liquid glass," is used to seal leaks in things like head gaskets, but in this case, it's used to seize an engine that could be well worth reselling. Dealer records will be reviewed by federal agents, and if the dealer is found not to have complied, the dealer will have to pay $15,000 per infraction.
[Source: Bloomberg via Boston.com | Image – Dave7 under CC2.0]