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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-31-2009, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
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Cash For Clunkers Program Suspended

From CNN:

Too many clunkers, too little cash
Less than a week after launching, the $1 billion Cash for Clunkers program may be almost spent out.

By Jennifer Liberto and Peter Valdes-Dapena, senior writers
Last Updated: July 31, 2009: 12:03 AM ET

NEW YORK ( -- This much seems certain about the Cash for Clunkers program: Consumers are happy to take government rebates to buy new cars.

The fate of the $1 billion trade-in program was up in the air late Thursday over concerns that it may have already burned through its funds less than a week after it was launched.

Congressional sources said earlier in the day that the program would be suspended.

A White House official and a source at the Department of Transportation later said the program would not be suspended. The DOT official said the administration would try to work with Congress to find more funds to keep it going.

Indeed, one of the program's main champions in Congress, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., called on the administration and Congress to appropriate more money for it.

Stabenow said Clunkers has provided an important boost to the economy and resulted in 200,000 car sales.

"I am delighted to hear dealers say that all of their salespeople are busy and they are selling more cars in a day than they had been selling in a month," Stabenow said.

Meanwhile, the transportation department, which runs the program, was sorting out how much of the plan's funds have already been committed.

Cash for Clunkers, which Congress passed in June, is set to end on Nov. 1 or whenever its $1 billion budget has been depleted.

An early version of the Cash for Clunkers legislation in Congress called for appropriating $4 billion.

Under the plan as enacted, vehicles purchased after July 1 will be eligible for refund vouchers worth $3,500 to $4,500 on traded-in gas guzzlers. The trade-in vehicle has to get combined city and highway fuel economy ratings of 18 miles per gallon or less.

The program aims at helping the struggling auto industry by taking inefficient cars off the road and spurring new sales.

"With this program, we are giving the auto industry a shot in the arm and struggling consumers can get rid of their gas-guzzlers and buy a more reliable, fuel-efficient vehicle," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement Monday.

Domestic auto sales have been hit hard by the recession and credit crunch and helped propel the bankruptcies and government bailouts of General Motors and Chrysler. In June, the seasonally adjusted annual sales rate fell to 9.7 million, a pace well below recent years.

As of Wednesday afternoon, nearly 30,000 Clunker transactions had already been submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the agency said, with requests totaling almost $96 million in disbursements.

--CNN's Jamie Crawford and Kevin Bohn contributed to this report.

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-02-2009, 11:09 PM
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Yet another taxpayer funded auto (private) industry bailout! Once the party is over they are back to square one. Think they'll be looking for yet another bailout? Why not? The government keeps reaching into our pockets and givng them more. You'd think with all the megabucks they have already been given they could figure out a way to pull themselves up out of this hole but then, they don't have to. Our govt won't let them "fail". So what are they doing? Just taking the money and biding their time for more.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-02-2009, 11:24 PM
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the local newspaper said the cars that are traided in have chemicals poured in the motor and trans to seize them up for good. And that if the car is ever registered again the person who sold the car will be fined 15,000.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by kamikaze View Post
the local newspaper said the cars that are traided in have chemicals poured in the motor and trans to seize them up for good. And that if the car is ever registered again the person who sold the car will be fined 15,000.
Yep. The program states "Prior to scrapping the dealer must disable the engine" The accepted method for this as per program guidelines is to drain the oil, refill the oil system with calcuim carbonate (an abrasive) and run it untill it seizes. The salvege yard can then sell any parts off the junked vehicle except the engine block or complete drivetrain (given the method of disableing the engine any internal parts are pritty much useless anyway so this shouldn't be an issue) and yes the program states the vehicle must never end up back on the road or fines of up to $15,000 for each vehicle will be issued.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 10:01 PM
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Well thanks to you all for your involuntary contribution.

I traded my 1989 K-1500 Chevy truck tonight.
A/C dead, full of rust, 4WD broken, Trans almost shot, Engine leaked and smoked, 197,000 miles.

I walked away with a Ford F-150 pickup for under $15,000
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 10:51 PM
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I wonder if its still going on. I might just try to take my lhs up there, and trade it towards, a 2010 ford fusion.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-10-2009, 12:36 PM
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Checking the current list, only one Intrepid is a "clunker" some late 90s All Wheel Drive? Not aware of an AWD but OK. On the other hand most Ford Taurus models are on the "clunker" list. Hmm.
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