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Cash For Clunkers Program Draws Fire From Car Owners


The top complaint expressed by US consumers over the Cash for Clunkers program, which is now called CARS, is that the EPA miles per gallon estimates that NHTSA will be using to qualify their cars are not practical or accurate based on their actual gas mileage.

From hundreds of emails and calls to the Cash for Clunkers Facts website ( ) consumers are disappointed that the combined MPG ratings for their car, as shown on , are nowhere close to what they are getting.

Read consumer comments:

Consumers tell stories that they own cars get 16 mpg when the Federal website says that the same car gets 4-6 miles per gallon higher, which disqualifies them from receiving a cash voucher. Consumers feel cheated that they are locked out of a cash voucher based on data that is not reflective of their situation.

Consumers are irate over the fact that there is no flexibility in the program to calculate and qualify their clunkers based on their actual mpg ratings. Consumers are at a loss for words that the physical condition of the car is not taken into effect, but on the flip side, creating such a system would be a logistics nightmare.

David Wilson, CEO of Preston Motors in Annapolis stated, “There would be no practical way for a car dealer to take in a used car and validate its specific mpg ratings. The car would have to be road tested and it would create a staffing and logistics burden for the measurement of actual gas consumption.”

Wilson goes on to say “I completely understand the frustration of consumers over the guidelines but car dealers are obligated to follow the guidelines set out by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s CARS program. The team at Preston Motors ( ) is very excited about helping consumers who live in Maryland in Delaware with the CARS program.”

Consumers have also asked that the bill be amended to allow their old clunkers to be turned in for a fuel efficient used car. Bloggers have pointed out that buying a late model used car that qualifies with at least 22 mpg would make the cash voucher go further since used cars are depreciated. Some say that if the bill was designed to help the environment, why would used cars with 30+ mpg ratings be disqualified.

The Cash for Clunkers Facts website ( ) has been following the progress of the bill since early May and is the most visited, dedicated non-government website for information on the bill. Consumers are invited to express their opinions on the program.

Twitter users can follow updates from the website at


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