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Don’t Shoot the Cash for Clunkers Messenger


Cash for Clunkers controversy continues to grow, even before the bill has officially started. Consumers are angry over the 18 MPG limit being placed on qualifying clunkers. According to consumers, the EPA estimates put forth on don’t take into consideration wear and tear on older vehicles that no longer get the same gas mileage.

The NHTSA is not the one to blame. The agency was handed the task of implementing the provisions in what is commonly referred to as the Cash for Clunkers legislation. Unfortunately for the NHTSA, they are the messenger of the controversial guidelines created by Congress. The NHTSA has officially named the program Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) and the only official website for the program is

Angry consumers have been writing in to, the most visited consumer blog devoted to the Cash for Clunker bill, expressing their outrage on being shunned out of eligibility for a voucher because of inaccurate EPA postings.

One consumer wrote, “Regarding the Car Allowance Rebate System. I currently drive a 1995 model car that I have owned for 12 years. According the website website it has a “new” mpg rating of 20 which means that I do not qualify for the CARS program. The MPG when the car was new was 22. This is disappointing as I do not understand how a change of ONLY 2 mpg is calculated on a 14 year old vehicle"

Another consumer offered an alternative solution “The bill should have been worded about how much MORE of an increased mpg you are getting compared to the mileage from your current vehicle. 18 mpg is way too low or the site is WRONG with their combined mileage estimates. I still do not think this will help. I have a 95 Ford Taurus and they show 16 mpg city, 24 mpg highway for a combined of 19 mpg. I say NO WAY.”

Hundreds of opinions have been submitted to the Cash for Clunkers Facts blog. To read what other consumers have to say, visit .

The Cash for Clunkers Facts blog was created by The Pasch Consulting Group, Automotive Internet Marketing Specialists in early May before the bill was even close to becoming signed into law.

According to Brian Pasch, CEO, “If consumers expect to see any change in legislation, they need to call their elected officials and let them know of the discrepancies on the government’s website for calculating mpg eligibility. Directing the complaints at the NHTSA will get them nowhere. The agency is only doing what Congress asked them to implement.”

Rae Tyson, media spokesperson for the NHTSA had this to say, “Since the program was created by an act of Congress, only Congress can amend or change it. It would mean that a new bill would have to be introduced in the House and Senate, approved by vote and signed by the President.”

That would seem to be very unlikely in the short lifecycle of the program due to its limited funding. The $1 billion allotted to the CARS program is not expected to last past November 1, 2009.

Consumers who would like to learn more about the CARS program, they should visit the official website at . Consumers are invited to visit the CFC blog and add their comments on the legislation.


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