Cash for Clunkers lives on. The Senate passed a $2 billion extension late tonight with a vote of 60/37, giving customers the opportunity to purchase about 500,000 more vehicles through the program. The Obama administration estimates that most or all of the original $1 billion was spent in a matter of only ten days and it's expected the additional $2 billion will only last through Labor Day.

Before voting on the bill, several amendments to the program were shot down. One amendment, which sought to relegate the program only to lower and middle income families, was denied with a vote of 65/32. Another amendment to make up the $2 billion by cutting from other programs lost by a 51/46 vote.

So far, Detroit automakers have received the majority of C4C deals, with 45.3% of overall sales, followed by Japanese automakers who've amassed 36.5% of the market. General Motors has the highest overall share of C4C transactions, at 18.7%, followed by Toyota at 17.9%. The majority of C4C purchases have received the full $4,500 subsidy, which requires a vehicle to achieve at least ten mpg better fuel economy than the scrapped clunker. The $3,500 subsidy is for vehicles that have a fuel economy improvement of four-to-nine mpg. The Obama administration estimates that the average fuel economy improvement under the C4C program has improved by 61%, saving the average consumer $700 - $1,000 in fuel over the life of the vehicle.

[Source: Associated Press | Image Source: Ethan Miller/Getty]

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