Dealers fear that if they complete tradein deals that involve clunkers, they won't get reimbursed for vehicles whose engines they have already had to disable under the rules.
The White House statement attempted to reassure dealers that all valid tradeins would be reimbursed. "Auto dealers and consumers should have confidence that all valid CARS transactions that have taken place to-date will be honored," said last night's statement.
Some have called the program a highlight of the Administration's various stimulus efforts. "This is simply the most stimulative $1 billion the federal government has spent during the entire economic downturn," said Representative Candice Miller (R-MI).
Rules: 22 mpg or more for cars
Under the program, owners of 1984-2002 vehicles with a combined EPA mileage rating of 18 miles per gallon or less qualified for a $3,500 voucher towards the purchase of a new car rated at 22 mpg or better. The maximum voucher of $4,500 was available to those who bought cars rated at 10 mpg (or more) higher than the tradein.
Trucks used a different system; the replacement had to be rated at 18 mpg or better, and also be 2 mpg more efficient than the tradein to qualify for a $3,500 voucher. Improving mileage by 5 mpg or more garnered the full $4,500.
TheCarConnection.com will update this story during the day as news develops. Check back often if you're considering trading in your clunker.
1994 Buick Park Avenue, by Flickr user Rienk MebiusEnlarge Photo