Cash For Clunkers Fraud Begins

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

TTAC just got a call from the Department of Transportation (DOT). The agency in charge of implementing the Cash for Clunkers program gave us a heads-up that the Car Allowance Rebate System is already attracting “unauthorized identity appropriation.” To wit: and, which sucker surfers into “pre-registering” for the program. “There are a number of people out there who are implying that dealers and/or consumers need to register with them to be eligible for the CARS program,” DOT spokesman Rae Tyson reveals, leaving aside questions about what these sites may do with the information. “This is completely untrue.”

Tyson said that is the only official DOT CARS website. He also said his agency is working with car manufacturers and dealer associations to contact all state-registered dealers and promote the program to consumers.

“If you’re a consumer, there is no need to pre-register with anyone. If you’re a dealer, we will contact you as and when the program is initiated.”

Tyson refused to be drawn on whether or not the DOT will seek a criminal investigation into these practices. “We’re not looking at this from a criminal point-of-view,” Tyson said. “That would be a matter for the Justice Department.”

Here we go.

UPDATE: Brian Pasch, owner of, has contacted TTAC through the comments section (below) and via telephone. As a result of that conversation, Mr. Pasch has taken aggressive action to clarify his company’s relationship to the CARS program.

As stated in the text, there is no official “participating dealer” program for CARS; all legal car dealers are eligible. Consumers do not have to pre-register for CARS. Any website that asks dealers or consumers to provide information for this program without making that fact clear is misleading both, as per the DOT.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • BostonNissan BostonNissan on Jun 24, 2009

    Robert Farago I thought "Fortunately, he is fair in allowing our posts to bring out the entire story." would have covered it. I did say you were fair! Also, please understand, I am passionate and I try to write with the passion I exhibit in my daily actions. I love a good argument and none is meant with any anger or ill will. By the way I just saw Brian's post on the homepage of TTAC. So I will again say, YOU ARE FAIR! Perhaps a link to this post from the update would be completely fair given that someone encountering this article is not guaranteed to see the new article. Looks like there is a link there after all! NEVER MIND - YOU ARE THE BASTION OF FAIRNESS! BostonDuce: Happy to give you a GREAT deal on a 370Z! And we love cash! As a 350Z owner myself, I can tell you this new Z is really impressive. Look forward to speaking to you personally. Feel free to contact me directly at: Timothy Martell Albrecht Auto Croup (888) 251-3813 or

  • Kruisin66 Kruisin66 on Jun 25, 2009

    Perfect timing. I can now take my 99 civic in great condition with 86000 miles and its 32 mpg combined, get new Insight or Prius and have Presidential Motors pay the dealer $4500 of the purchase price. My trade should go to those less fortunate but instead will be crushed along with the 83 oldsmobiles.

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