• Jan 6, 2010
Remember that insane list filled with great cars that were reportedly crushed under the Cash-for-Clunkers program? We were wondering if and when the federal government would thoroughly audit dealers who cashed in products like a 2006 Cadillac STS, an Audi S6 or a 2008 Foose F-150. That still may or may not happen, but apparently isn't the chief concern of Iowa Senator (R) Charles Grassley.

The senator has reportedly asked Department of Transportation chief Ray LaHood to look for evidence of fraud in the C4C program's $110 million administrative costs only. Grassley noted the exceptionally quick turnaround time of the program in his letter to LaHood and added "the DOT had only 30 days after the date the legislation was enacted into law to engage contractors and stand up the Program before the first rebates were issued." Grassley added that the original clunkers program accounted for $50 million in administrative costs but no additional money was allocated when the government approved an additional $2 billion for the program. It's clear Grassley wants answers, and he may have a point.
"To date the Administration has not provided an accurate accounting of the administrative costs related to the Cash for Clunkers program and I believe that the American taxpayer deserves more information, not less, and that information needs to come sooner rather than later."
The U.S. government contracted several agencies to handle C4C administrative duties including Citibank, Vangent and the IRS. The program reportedly accounted for a total of 690,000 transactions at an administrative cost of about $144 per vehicle.

[Source: The Washington Independent | Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty]


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  • 27 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      grassley has appeared to be very interested in the viewpoint of the big corporation cleverly disguised as a friend of the average citizen.

      people in d.c. never do anything unless it makes somebody else look like a terrorist or a commie etc.

      why drag politics into a car blog?
      • 5 Years Ago
      $144? That's not bad. Do you have any idea how much your student loan costs to "administer"? Or your medicare payment? Or your taxes? I closed on a house recently and "administration" came to about $50K when you add the brokers fees and all the other crap they charge you for. $144 sounds like a bargain.
        • 5 Years Ago
        No mate, surely you know that student loans do not come from the government, and do you think that everyone involved in the buying and selling of a house also works for the government? I think my point is quiet clearly and evenly made, when entering into a financial agreement, there is always someone charging you some kind of "administration fee". Go buy a car, see if you can avoid the "loan origination fee". Fact is there are hundreds of thousands of people employed in little cubes doing god-awful data entry jobs who get paid every time you sign a piece of paper. Why do you think there are massive office buildings in places like Oxnard California? It's not because there is a huge talent pool there. I was saying that $144 per car seams like a steal. Go wire some money to a foreign country and tell me how much arrives at the other end. Beaurocracy always pays, but not so much in this case.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is an example of a pol grandstanding; trying to make hay out of a program that worked.

      The Federal government can contract out work rather quickly, and often have contractors on-site because they don't have the staff to do all the required work. It's a pain-in-the-ass system that actually increases costs and inefficiencies and paperwork, but that's what privatizing has done.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Maybe they could investigate welfare queens too.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This raises another question for me. IIRC, all C4C vehicles were supposed to be crushed, with none of the parts able to be resold (which I thought was dumb to begin with). So why was I able to go to LKQ and find row after row of cars with C4C on the glass and orange paint on the engines lined up there?!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well the engines were destroyed...but what about the body parts?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Oh the body parts were definitely resold around here. I watched a guy strip a Jeep Liberty to sell the doors, fenders, hood, liftgate, even the quarter glass. Gotta love eBay, right? lol
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm sure some body parts were sold, the cars were sent to auto recyclers. They extract the maximum value from every part, the maximum value for most parts is as parts, not scrap.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The parts could be resold, the engines couldn't (or weren't supposed to be, anyway).
      • 5 Years Ago
      The money is already spent. Unless we plan on repeating the program (and I hope not), I don't see what can come from investigating the program other than raising the total cost even further due to the cost of the investigation.
        invisiblepigeon3
        • 5 Years Ago
        LS2LS7 is right. The money is already gone, thanks to brainless Obamanomics. Duh, there was corruption in C4C. Do you really need an investigation to tell you that the ****ing sky is blue?

        Mqa

        It's spelled IRAQ, not IRAK you ****ing moron. Before you comment ignorantly about defense spending at least learn how to spell a 4 letter word. Do you really think that the military contractors charge 10,000 dollars for a toilet seat? That stuff goes to black projects and they cook the books so no one knows what it's being spent on. You want them to write down "laser microphone 10,000 dollars", "retasking satellites: hundreds of thousands of dollars". No, they just put "toilet seat" instead.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's called transparency.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think you are right about the fiscal aspect of this issue; the money is surely gone for good. But to neglect to perform due diligence on the process, even in hindsight, makes those who would take advantage of the tax payer more bold and provides too much impetus to cheat the system as much as possible.

        I would like frauds and cheats that creatively fudged this program, paid for with all of our money, to be exposed.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'd like other programs to be investigated before this:

        I want the guys who wrote 900p of bogus Irak WMD evidence to be investigated for forcing America on a war based on complete lies.

        I want those responsible for the $700bn Irak excursion to be held accountable.

        I want to know what happened to the $2bn in Irak funds that are unaccounted for.

        I want the war profiteers (contractor companies) that overcharged thanks to their government connections to reimburse for their $2000 toilet seats and he tried.




        Then only will it be fair to audit the C4C program, one that was largely successful and created a boost to the auto industry.

        Fair enough?
        • 5 Years Ago
        This program, unlike TARP or Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae was DESIGNED to give away money. Now you want to find out if it did it? Trust me it did, that's why you're so angry about it even existing.

        Again, if you audit it, you'll learn some things, things you can only use on future giveaway programs. Personally I'd just save the money on the audit and not have future giveaway programs instead. Then the frauds and cheats can't take advantage of the system. Problem solved.
        • 5 Years Ago
        C4C audit? But the money is already spent...
        TARP audit? But the money is already spent...
        [cough] "Stimulus" [cough] audit? But the money is already spent...
        Fanny Mae/Freddie Mac? But the money is already spent...
        etc...

        You're right, everyone just move along; nothing to see here.
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