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When the Canadian government announced its ecoAuto program a year ago, it was immediately controversial. By offering tax rebates to drivers who bought more cars with mileage above an specified level and applying extra taxes to thirstier vehicles, certain vehicles where left out in the cold. Setting arbitrary thresholds means that cars just above or below threshold might get comparable real world mileage but some buyers get the rebate while others don't. In this case, the Honda Fit was left out w

The list of vehicles eligible for Canada's controversial ecoAuto program has been updated with thirty-two more 2008 models added. The program pays Canadian car-buyers rebates of $1,000-2,000 when they buy vehicles on the list. To qualify, the cars and trucks have to meet a minimum mileage threshold. Among the vehicles added to the list this year are the Honda Fit and the non-hybrid Civic models. Previously they fell just shy of the threshold but were modified for the new model year to be eligibl

The C.D. Howe Institute is a Canadian think-tank that has taken a look at the ecoAuto program introduced by the government there earlier this year. The controversial program created a sliding scale of rebates and taxes based on new vehicles fuel consumption. Buyers of more efficient vehicles got rebates from the government while those who opted for gas-guzzlers had to pay extra taxes.

Honda Canada is not the only company unhappy about the ecoAUTO rebate program in Canada. Chrysler Canada CEO Reid Bigland wrote an Op-Ed in the National Post urging the program to be repealed. Even though Chrysler has a number of vehicles eligible for the rebates either as a result of good mileage or flex-fuel capability, Bigland still feels the program is excessively arbitrary. Picking a cutoff and saying one car gets a rebate and another doesn't simply because one is slightly above the thresho

A new program to urge Canadian drivers to downsize to more fuel-efficient vehicles from large gas-guzzling SUVs has had the unwarranted effect of lifting sales of pickup trucks. The new ecoAUTO Rebate Program offers a rebate ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 for people who pick up certain fuel-efficient vehicle, but slaps a $4,000 excise tax on fuel-heavy SUVs and sports cars.

We've all experienced the law of unintended consequences, and it has just struck again in Canada. Years ago a provision was put in US tax law that allowed businesses to deduct $25,000 for the purchase of trucks used for commercial reasons. Unfortunately this meant that many small and medium business owners ended up buying big SUVs for the business that ended being used for personal use.

Autoblog regulars will remember the ongoing feud between Honda Canada and the Canadian government. The conflict centers around Ottawa's new budget that contains the ecoAuto program, which offers between $1,000 and $2,500 rebates on certain fuel efficient vehicles and up to a $4,000 penalty on gas guzzlers. The Honda Fit, which is very popular in Canada, missed the cutoff for being eligible for a rebate because it consumes 6.6L of fuel every 100 kilometers, just one tenth of a liter more than the

The Canadian province of Ottawa government is learning the hard way that one does not mess with Honda Canada. We reported last month that the automaker was irritated its Fit just missed qualifying for a federal ecoAUTO rebate of $1,000 CDN that was established to promote the purchase of fuel efficient cars. The rebate applies to new cars that use less than 6.5 liters of gas for every 100 kilometers driven. The Honda Fit uses 6.6 liters/100km, which means shoppers who purchase a Fit aren't eligib