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On Monday we reported that as of August 7, U.S. auto dealers had received 245,000 Clunkers worth $1.03 billion as of. Today is Wednesday, August 12 and those numbers have swelled by 71,000 cars and $300 million. Put another way, dealers are hoping to collectively collect $60 million a day. And that's counting weekends. The amount per weekday is closer to $90 million.

As of right now, there's $1.66 billion left in the replenished Cash 4 Clunkers program. If consumers continue buying cars at the current rate, that's just about 28 days until the program is tapped out. We know there's a zombie film analogy to be made here, but we're going to resist. We will however provide a video (after the jump) of a 1995 Ford Explorer getting its engine seized, which we know to some folks is more frightening than any zombie flick.

[Source: Detroit News | Image Source: Paul J. Richards/Getty/AFP]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow what a stupid way to destroy an engine...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Both trucks are car qualify for the Cash For Clunkers but not the motorcycles.

      • 5 Years Ago

      You may have heard of the government's new "Cash for Clunkers" program but do you know all the facts?

      Friday, August 21, 2009 Update: Informed sources are projecting that the total $3 billion directed to Cash for Clunkers will be fully expended by Monday and the program will be winding down at that point. Some projections indicate that 700,000 new car sales, including a Cash for Clunkers component, are on the books or will be by Monday. There's some talk of more funding for Cash for Clunkers, but with congress out of session until after labor day, that can not be immediate. Naturally, it will be some months before the car dealers themselves are fully reimbursed for qualified Cash for Clunkers purchases through the program.

      Proponents call it a win win for the environment and the economy and the charities we represent indicate that a slow down in car donation proceeds (if any) has not been as severe as some had initially projected. Volume of car donations for us has been flat and a modest 7.5% decline in gross resale prices of donated cars seems to be the average.

      Cash for Clunkers (the Car Allowance Rebate System act, also known as CARS), was recently passed by congress and signed by President Obama. It is an innovative new program designed to get gas-guzzling cars off the roads and motivate people to drive more fuel efficient cars. It is intended to replace older vehicles with new ones that are safer and pollute less. Supporters claim it will help jump-start auto sales and the U.S. economy, while also providing environmental benefits and increasing energy security.

      How it works: to be eligible for $3,500 or $4,500 worth of federal money (some terms vary for trucks).

      * Your vehicle must be less than 25 years old on the trade-in date
      * Only the purchase or lease of new vehicles will qualify you for the federal funding
      * Trade-in vehicles must get 18 miles or less per gallon
      * Vehicles must be in driving condition, plus registered and insured for the full year prior to the trade-in
      * The bill is intended to be a boost to struggling car dealers and anybody who wants a new compact or hybrid, and to help the environment, and who wouldn't support that? Unfortunately, this legislation won't help everyone. Here are some reasons that will prevent many people from taking advantage of the Cash for Clunkers program:

      The gas mileage rates are so low that only very poor mileage cars like SUVs or trucks will qualify. Those who do qualify have to buy or lease a new car to get the money; just getting rid of an old junker gets you nothing with Cash for Clunkers. If the value of your trade in is more than $3,500 or $4,500 then you don't get any additional money from the government.

      The Cash for Clunkers legislation, as originally written, covered "approved" clunker vehicles for new car purchases from July 1st to November 1, 2009. For technical reasons re-determining what cars would qualify, the start date was subsequently delayed from July 1st to July 24th. Car dealers and legislators were all very surprised at the huge initial response such that by midnight, July 30th, the program was halted given the projection that the initial one billion dollars of funding had been all used up by vehicle purchases that are already in the system. The House of Representatives acted very quickly and the next day, July 31st (the last day of the congressional session prior to the August recess) passed a two billion dollar refunding of Cash for Clunkers. The Senate, with the same extraordinary speed, passed the same bill, Thursday, August 6th barely a couple hours before they also went on summer recess at midnight. Now, President Obama has signed it and the program can be restarted very soon. Stay tuned to this site for breaking news on this topic. Some proponents suggest that even with the additional two billion dollars in funding that the program will again run out of money long before November and that additional funding should be provided.

      Fortunately, if you don't meet all the criteria for getting the Cash for Clunkers payout, you still have other good options for getting rid of your old car. Vehicles that don't qualify for Cash for Clunkers are still ideal car donations. When you donate cars, trucks, vans, RVs, boats or even real estate you get rid of your unwanted property, help a non-profit of your choice, and itemizing taxpayers get a write-off.

      Hundreds of charities do invaluable work all across the country, and car donation funds are an important part of their revenue stream. Pete Palmer, co-founder of The Vehicle Donation Processing Center, Inc., states that his company "assists more than 400 charities who do great work and depend on car donation to pay for it. We handle it for them and in so doing we've put more than sixty million dollars in their hands -- net-net,
      • 5 Years Ago
      Reduce, Reuse, Recycle... Cars should be not recycled:
      - Recycling a clunker produces pollutants (not all a car's materials can be reused, plus it takes energy to process the materials)
      - Manufacturing a new car to replace it produces pollutants and consumes resources (not all a car's parts can be made from recycled materials, plus it takes energy to build a car)
      - Shipping produces pollutants (shipping recycled materials, and shipping the new car)
      Instead, I think they should inspect, tune-up, and upgrade the emissions systems on the clunkers.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It is a sad thing to see....but it is a Ford Explorer....
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm curious when we'll see the "benefits" of this program. 316000 cars is a lot, but so is 1.33 billion in taxpayer money. Out of an overpopulated country of 300 million 316000 cars isn't going to affect global warming, or even fuel dependence. It is a start, though, which is good, but there will be consequences. Were the people who got new cars the ones that should be spending money? I'm sure some of them are the same ones who contributed to the housing and credit crunch and didn't even need a car (they're probably already making payments on multiple others). In other words...we'll be bailing them out when they can't make payments on their new car...but at least they got rid of a clunker! When are the people that are financially responsible going to get rewarded...we should be getting free nice cars...or free repos...and $4500 for knowing how to save and make credit and mortgage payments on stuff we can afford.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Will you stop posting these vile videos? It's like a animal blog posting videos of dogs being put to sleep. WTF.
      • 5 Years Ago
      And I quote a very smart man and what he has to say about Cash for Clunkers:

      "The Cash for Clunkers program has received a lot of attention this week on Capitol Hill and across the country. The program offers a voucher of up to $4500 in federal funds to anyone who trades in a working used car for a new one with better fuel economy. Congress was shocked at how quickly people responded to promises of free money and drained the program, while car dealers have been equally shocked at how slow and arduous the government's website to claim the rebates has been.

      It's not a shock that people respond to incentives. The program has been deemed a resounding success, and Congress has authorized 2 billion more taxpayer dollars for it. But not everyone is happy about this. Low-income earners who would have been in the market for those perfectly serviceable, working cars will have fewer to choose from, and those cars will probably be more expensive than they normally would have been. Automotive repair shops actively lobbied against this program, as it will destroy many of the cars they would have repaired. They were out-lobbied. And of course, Americans as a whole are hurt, because this additional bailout of auto companies comes at our expense through inflation.

      I have introduced a somewhat similar bill that would have provided a much better alternative to Cash for Clunkers because it does not rely on increased government bureaucracy or spending. My bill HR 1768 provides tax credits to people trading in used cars for new cars with better fuel economy. There is a big difference, in my mind, between letting people keep their own money versus giving them someone else's. It is clear which one a free and fair society would choose. Not only that, but my bill would not have required working, serviceable cars to be destroyed for scrap metal.

      Cash for Clunkers is a popular program right now, but in the larger scheme of things it does very little towards accomplishing its stated goals. Requiring cars to be destroyed and new ones made to replace them might help the auto industry in the short run, but any improved fuel economy will not make up for the environmental impact of junking one car and making a new one. So this is not a program that should really make environmentalists happy.

      There is also much evidence that the boost in demand for autos, that has made dealers happy, is just borrowed demand from the past and the future. In other words, many have put off purchases they would have made anyway because they were waiting to see what the government would do. Others who would have waited a little longer to trade in a vehicle are accelerating their decisions so they can get in before the money runs out. So I would not be surprised to find that this artificial boom in auto sales is followed by an extended drop. This should serve as a very tangible example of how government meddling in the economy creates booms and busts. While everyone loves the booms, the busts are what creates the crises that government thrives on, and that is what we really need to watch out for!"

      Now let's see who can make an honestly good argument to refute that. Meanwhile I'll enjoy the lovely sounds of crickets.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I work at a large dealership. Management just shut the program down because they fear they will not get paid out for all the cars.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The founding fathers are spinning right up out of their graves...taking wages from the citizen that earned them and using the money to directly purchase an expensive material good for someone else. UNCONSTITUTIONAL!!!
        • 5 Years Ago
        What, like sales tax?
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Jim LOL dude!!!

        • 5 Years Ago

        "2) guesstimate says that the CARS program cost $15 per taxpayer. If I send you $15, will you stop whining?"

        Who's guesstimation? Yours? Yes, I would like my $15 back. I'm a "starving" college student. $15 is a decent dinner or a tank and a half of gas for my bike. Have paypal?
        • 5 Years Ago
        So what if I did just notice? Does that make tyranny ok? No! Shame on you if you used my money to buy a new car for your private use!
        • 5 Years Ago
        You ignorant, spoiled Americans. Do you even know what a tyrant is?

        Dick Chaney is the closest thing the US has ever come to having a Tyrant in office.

        • 5 Years Ago
        "taking wages from the citizen that earned them and using the money to directly purchase an expensive material good for someone else."

        You're just now figuring out that the gov't does that?
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Shame on you if you used my money to buy a new car for your private use!"

        1) I went from a Neon to a Mustang GT, so I couldn't have used it even if I wanted to

        2) guesstimate says that the CARS program cost $15 per taxpayer. If I send you $15, will you stop whining?
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Mr. Oak

        Dude. Seriously. Do you realize that the good ole US of A is nearly 12 TRILLION dollars in debt?

        Who in the F**K is the spoiled one asking handouts for auto workers? A little spilled blood in the operating room? Come on dude. Spoiled? "Please government, save us"

        Yeah, dude may have been overboard when he said "tyrant", but he wasn't on the wrong path.

        When everybody else loses their job they don't turn to the government to bail them out.

        Teach someone to fish instead of handing them a hamburger.

        I'm all for the American auto industry. I really want GM, Chrysler, Ford, Tesla and whoever else to succeed. I hope they make it and prove all the haters, naysayers, a-holes and foreign brands wrong.

        Just not with government bailouts, cash for (mostly American) clunkers and whatever else the a-holes in Washington can come up with.

        $12 TRILLON. Get used to it because it's only going to get worse.

        The strong will survive; everyone else will get eaten.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The government is picking winners and losers among industries. They are taking us far deeper into debt to buy scrap. Also, this hurts low income car buyers by scrapping the cars they usually buy.
      • 5 Years Ago
      there's got to be irony, pouring liquid-death from a bottle marked "LONGLIFE GOLD!"
        • 5 Years Ago
        That's true, but it was the Explorer's lead that everyone else followed -- not the Cherokee.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You missed a big part of 'it inspired a league of copycats that became the whole "SUV craze."', because the Explorer was not the first, it was a copycat of the Jeep Cherokee.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Explorer was the SUV that did everything right, that's why it was America's favorite every single year since it was made (16 years until it's unfortunate "refresh" in 06 or whenever that was).
        • 5 Years Ago
        Nope, certified petrol-head here.

        What part of "slow" and "couldn't handle" did you miss?
        • 5 Years Ago
        "The destruction of any Ford Explorer is a beautiful thing."

        Autoblog Green is down the hall.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The destruction of any Ford Explorer is a beautiful thing.

        It is/was one of the worst cars of all time. Worse still because it inspired a league of copycats that became the whole "SUV craze." Big, ugly, inefficient, slow, couldn't handle, and made everyone think they needed 4 wheel drive when they didn't. Terrible, terrible car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        What part of "it's a truck-based SUV" did you miss?

        Never a huge fan, but they were really useful vehicles if you needed one.
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