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The "Cash for Clunkers" program will launch July 1 following the passage of the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Act last week. The $1-billion program will provide consumers with cash vouchers to purchase new, more fuel-efficient vehicles after getting rid of less-efficient “clunkers” and will last until November. The program should allow about 250,000 people to trade in their vehicles.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched a Web site, www.cars.gov, for the program and has about 30 days to develop the rules for its implementation.
To be eligible for the program dubbed the Consumer Allowance Rebate System (CARS) a “clunker” must get 18 mpg or less in combined city and highway fuel ratings. Under the program, consumers who purchase new vehicles that are at least 4 mpg more efficient than their previous vehicles would receive a $3,500 voucher. A $4,500 voucher would be given for purchasing a vehicle that’s at least 10 mpg more efficient.
Cars that are 25 years or older and those that haven’t been insured for the past year aren’t eligible for the program.
The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) issued a statement last month expressing its disappointment in the measure because scrapping cars would jeopardize the jobs of independent repairers.
The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) also opposes the bill, claiming it would prematurely destroy vehicles and their parts and components, limiting low- and middle-income families’ access to used vehicles.