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With the official kick-off date for the Cash For Clunkers program CARS just over a week away, people are already saying it's really too little, too short. Last week, Auto Alliance president Dave McCurdy said that Congress could expand the program, and now some economists interviewed by Reuters are predicting that the overall effect on the economy (and, therefore, on the environment as well) will not be very large. A senior economist at Wachovia told Reuters that, "It's a very small number of people that this plan will end up helping."
One reason that the plan won't have as big an impact as it could is that people can only get a rebate for turning in a car that is, at most, 18 mpg. That's always seemed like an arbitrary and low number (a sliding scale, where the new car needs to be X mpg better than the clunker is a better idea), and a little tidbit from NPR reveals why: one of the reasons that 18 mpg was set as the upper limit in the CARS bill was that charitable organizations requested it, since they were worried that a higher limit would negatively effect vehicle donations.

[Source: Reuters, NPR]


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  • 19 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      They have to set the MPG limit so low because the US fleet of cars in general have such abysmal mileage.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That's pretty sad isn't it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That's the other MPG 'limit'...where you can trade an 18mpg SUV for a 22mpg one and get $4500. If all new cars had to get 10 mpg more than the clunked ones, then almost no domestic models would qualify.
      Lookup MGTOW
      • 5 Years Ago
      ...negatively AFFECT vehicle donations! not ... negatively EFFECT vehicle donations!

      My God, I could do your job gooder than you .

      Proofread twice Publish once, I always say.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Everybody has an agenda ... even charities. It's a shame really. Just once, I'd like to see an organization look at the big picture!
        • 5 Years Ago
        locoyocal... die in a fire
        • 5 Years Ago
        by charities.. he means churches.
      • 5 Years Ago
      My 21 year old car gets a combined 19mpg, officially. In the real world, that old engine probably is lucky to produce 17mpg driven normally. I'd be lining up to join this program if only they had shown a bit of flexibility.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I hear ya. My 1995 Mazada B2300 is listed at 22 mpg combined and I know i'd be lucky to get 18 mpg.

        I sent an email to Cash 4 Clunkers aka CARS asking them if they would take independent verification and they said they are not set up to do that and that the EPA estimates would have to do.

        I want to buy a VW TDI which would increase from 22 to 30ish so there's $3,500 -$4,500 I could be putting into the economy.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Spence>>>>
        have you checked out what chrysler is doing? they had advised they are still offering up to the $4500.00 even if you vehicle does not qualify !!! See a local Chysler Dealer in your area. or check out the Chysler web page
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hello,

      Your recent coverage of Cash for Clunkers legislation on autobloggreen.com was spot on. I thought you might be interested in more info on vehicle donation alternatives to Cash for Clunkers for the many people who don't qualify for that government payout. You could help charities a lot by adding a link to our informational page on Cash for Clunkers versus charitable car donation - http://www.donatecarusa.com/cashforclunkers.

      Many charities rely on these donated vehicles. If you place a link to our site, please let us know. Thanks.

      Charity Assistance Team
      Donate Car USA and for more than 400 charities
      Charityprogrm@donatecarusa..com
      Toll-Free: (888)-317-7279

        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm pretty sure that is the opposite of what most autoblog readers want. Charities wanted to make it difficult for us to use the cash for clunkers program, so that we would donate them.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Wow, that's chutzpah.
      • 5 Years Ago
      A lot of so-called charities and non-profits are set up to enrich the people running them.

      Fat six-figure salaries and nice perks are the norm for directors of many charities.

      It's pretty disgusting this greedy group has this much influence.
      • 5 Years Ago
      PLEASE STOP THE MADNESS THE PROGRAM IS HELP 3 INTITIES AT ONCE!! CHECK OUT CHRYSLERS OFFER YOU MAY NOT WANT A CHRYLSER BUT IF YOU WANT THE FUNDS TO PURCHASE A NEW CAR YOU WILL GET ONE!!!
      gmar29
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wondered about what set the limit at 18 MPG for the Clunkers Program. Leave it to special interest groups to screw up a program that could help the environment and the economy. I hoped to take part in this program, and I was considering several economy cars that get 8 to 10 MPG better than the car I want to trade in, but since my car (Pontiac Grand Prix) is rated by the government at 19 MPG, I don't qualify. Since I don't qualify, I will either keep my car or go with one of my sports-car choices, none of which get milage above 22 MPG.
      Muscle Dude
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's already not very hot. Reports of scams online and at dealerships as the plan nears. Read: http://tinyurl.com/nlv3ed
      • 5 Years Ago
      Right,

      So instead of fighting for the arbitrary 18mpg limit, they could have been fighting for a percentage of those over 18mpg turned in to be donated to charities instead of being recycled.

      As it looks right now, recyclers stand to make a tidy profit....so the feds could also sell the clunkers to recyclers for a fair price, and give the money to charities.

      There you go, two better solutions (assuming C4C was inevitable of course ;)
      • 5 Years Ago
      YEAH AND THESE SAME ORGANIZATIONS THAT WANT DONATIONS FROM US ARE THE SAME ONES THAT WILL NOT HELP YOU WHEN U R N NEED. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF C4C B4 ITS TOO LATE!!! ATLEAST YOU CAN GET SOMETHING (WHERE AS PATSYS INFO WILL ONLY SLAP U N THE FACE N THE LONG RUN!!!)
      AND OH YEAH WHERE SHE IS SAYING MANY PEOPLE WON'T QUALIFY, CHRYSLER IS OFFERING UP TO 4500.00 TO CUSTOMERS THAT COME AND BRING VEHICALS THAT DONT!!! DON'T TAKE MY WORD SEE CHRYLERS CORP WEB FOR MORE INFOMATION OR CONTACT YOUR LOCAL DEALERSHIP!!!
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