Cash for Clunkers: Fail or Win?

mitsubishi_galant_sigmaSo last week was the first for the dreaded Cash for Clunkers program and it’s been either wildly successful or a dismally mismanaged failure depending on how you look at it.

First, the government thought it might run out of money too quickly. Overnight, a bunch of cars that once fell within the 18mpg or under threshold to qualify were magically boosted to 19mpg according on the EPA website. Sucks for the owners, but the fewer cars that qualify on the lower end of the fuel efficiency scale the better for us JNCers.

Then rumors began to fly that the almost $1 billion automaker stimulus money set aside for C4C had been burned through in four days and the program would be suspended.

But no, it was actually going stronger than ever, and the the House approved another $2 billion for the program.

The best part of it all? Mini’s bumper sticker:


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16 Responses to Cash for Clunkers: Fail or Win?

  1. banpei says:

    Let’s hope people only trade in newer cars like this Volvo S60:

    That is something I can’t understand: in Europe the car has to be at least 8 to 10 years old to apply for the CFC… And how can anyone trade in a S60 which is still worth more than the amount of money you get from the CFC?

  2. kingtoy says:

    I think this will fail eventually. I watch commercials here and some dealerships are so misleading about the C4C program. They keep touting bring it in for a goverment rebate, push, pull and drag it in….. which of course makes it not qualify. I think alot of people don’t realize all the stipulations to qualify for the money.

  3. Sr-FairladyZ says:


    Yea, commercials here in NYC are the same. Very misleading with $4500 in large flashing font and a paragraph of tinny font below it. Obviously aired just to get you in the door, then calmly explain to you that Santa isn’t real.

  4. Komeko says:

    “They just don’t make them like they used to.”

    Remember that old phrase? People only remember it when they are cursing at their disposable inkjet printer, or freshly rounded Phillips head screwdriver, or any other modern electronic device that has been carefully engineered to last one day past its warranty term.

    My question:
    “Where can I find the line for turning in new, poorly built, poorly designed, unexciting and uninspiring ‘future clunkers’, and get a _good, old car_?”

  5. Guyon says:

    Any program that destroys countless working cars that people all over the world would die to have is a terrible program.

  6. Bas den Hoed says:

    Hi to you all.
    Go get some old Toyota , Subaru , Honda leaf the rest.
    The new car are too old when they come out new , even the electric car’s are too old.
    Take your time save money go to the lickerstore and have that big one.
    One firmly Toyota-driver.
    Bas Netherlands Europe

  7. slickwrick says:

    the toyota commercial here in cali shows a toyota FJ getting crushed.

    dreadful sons of bitches!!!
    whats next?

    are we gonna have to pay a tax to own a classic?

  8. Oyaji Gaijin says:

    Kingtoy wrote:
    kingtoy Says:
    August 3rd, 2009 at 7:19 am

    “commercials…They keep touting bring it in for a government rebate, push, pull and drag it in….. which of course makes it not qualify.”

    The rules may say that it has to have license and inspection for 12 months, and be drivable. But the dealership verifies the condition and the dealership blows up the engine to process the car. There is no inspection or oversight by the government. The dealership’s motivation is to get the sale at all costs. But no dealership would ever act dishonestly…

    How many junk yards have been emptied and how much paperwork has been falsified to cheat this program? I’ll bet this program is closer to “push, pull, or tow” than anyone would ever want to admit or realize.

  9. Brad D. (TSiSS350) says:

    I wonder if anyone in the government will watch these videos and see how the service idiots are destroying the cars. Lets run them at full speed, wasting fuel, spiting out polution at an alarming rate and wait untill it blows up and spews oil all over the ground! Sounds like a solid plan to me

  10. Kostamojen says:

    Seeing the cars on the lot first hand that have been traded in during the last week I have to say…

    This program is FANTASTIC!!

    I should take a picture of the HORRIBLE cars that are getting crushed (90% SUV’s and full size trucks, with massive amounts of mileage and barely operating).

    Out of 150 cars on the lot, I didn’t see ANY thing work keeping. No “future collectables” or anything along those lines.

    These were horrible cars, in horrible shape that people were (unsafely) driving around every day. I’m GLAD these cars are off the road!!!

    But yes, there were be a handful of cars that might be worth something getting tossed, however from what i’ve seen, there have not enough of them to worry about it.

  11. G-zilla says:

    Here in Mexico are planning the same thing, I dunno the details but they claim they can give you up to $15,000 pesos (something like $1,150.00 USD) and I think it’ll be for 20 years n’ older. They’re a lot of Datsuns over here and the prices are going up kinda, but there are a lot of ppl that have no idea of what they’re driving. I hope that our hyper-burocratical corrupt politicians don’t ever let a program like this work. Sadly, it could be a big excuse to get more money bribing. As all the other stupid programs they try to run over here. Couldn’t we try to proof our point like being an enviromental issue? And get some Greenpeace or some famous University of whatever country do an analitical study on how modern cars pollute more than ours only in their production or something? Don’t u think us all JNC-JDM-Restorer-Racerheads or whatever could do something about it? They’re a lot like us all around the globe. Sorry for the loooooong comment, I was inspired looking at my ride.

  12. Oyaji Gaijin says:

    Re: Jalopnik ten most traded in cars.

    Only one problem. Not even the government knows how many cars have been turned in. Where did Jalopnik get their numbers? What was their total sample? That story is total fiction.

  13. Mark says:

    Brad,watching the “destruction process”last night had me wondering the same about belching fumes and oil out of these pitiful cars…..

  14. Lincoln Stax says:

    It’s a little unfair to suggest that the government changed the list to make fewer car eligible for C4C. It’s true that 86 cars were moved from eligible to ineligible at the last minute, but there were 76 cars that were moved from ineligible to eligible at the last minute, so the net difference is only 12 cars. Here’s the full list for both:
    One of the cars now eligible is the 2004 Mazda RX-8. Hopefully there isn’t anyone stupid enough to trade one in for a Prius under C4C.

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