Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Cash For Clunkers Suckers

It appears that 19 is now the magic number. The government's so-called "Cash for Clunkers" program gives discounts of up to $4500 to car owners who are willing to trade in their gas guzzlers for shiny new petrol-sippers. Of course, their are restrictions to this; including the m.p.g. rating of the old car, the age of the car, etc.

It appears that the program was launched before being vetted completely via the EPA's gas milage standards, which are being used as the benchmark for eligibility under the program. Magically, many models that were eligible for the discount now aren't quite gas-guzzly enough to qualify. Many people who were about to take the plunge and trade in their old car found out recently that many models the EPA listed as getting 18 m.p.g. (which qualified said models) now get 19 m.p.g., making them ineligible.

I never realized that fuel economy was so malleable; why can't we just say everything gets 50 m.p.g. and be done with it. We'll be free of foreign oil in no time!

The EPA says that upon further review, just as many models were added to the qualifying list as were removed. I'm pretty skeptical of that, but maybe if they announced which models were added and which were removed....

Oh, and what about people who have already traded up and are now expecting a credit for a car which no longer qualifies? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (who is administering the program), too f'n bad. All sales are final and no money back for you.

Boy, the government is great at running these types of programs. If only we could put it in charge of heathcare.

[link via The Consumerist]


  1. And now the program is suspended due to lack of funding. With such great planning on a $1 billion program, how are we to trust them (and their estimates)for health care, banking, Cap & Trade, auto bailouts etc, etc, etc...

  2. Yeah I just posted on that. I'm kind of kicking myself (harder than I let on in the post) that I didn't publish what I originally wrote. I called this very thing. Oh well.