What do you do with some 700,000 recently clunked cars? Send them to scrap heaps, naturally. According to the initial set of rules drafted when Cash for Clunkers was first launched, all those vehicles need to be processed properly, which includes removing most (if not all) of the good usable parts from each vehicle before sending the remaining hulk through crush and melt-down machines.

That's all well and good, except that these recycling yards were only allotted six months to make all those cars go away. Not surprisingly, that's not likely to happen, leading the American Recyclers Association to request another six months to do the duty. Considering that nearly three times as many cars were junked than initially planned, that doesn't seem unreasonable.

On Friday, November 27, the U.S. Transportation Department submitted a proposal to extend the recyclers an additional three months. Why not go the full 12 months, as requested? Apparently, the federal agency believes that extending the deadline that far would heighten the risk of fraud. In other words, clunked cars could end up back on the highway, even though the vehicles in question all had their engines killed in spectacular fashion.

Michael Wilson, executive vice president of the American Recyclers Association agrees, saying, "While we were seeking additional time, we understand there are some other factors involved. We believe this is a good compromise, one that will help the vast majority of our members in processing these vehicles."

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req'd | Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]

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