Clunker Plan Enters Regulatory Hell
Or is that regulatory purgatory? Automotive News [sub] screams “Dealers decide who gets discounts,” confirming that America’s very own scrappage scheme is not going to be the quick eco-nomic (geddit?) stimulus the fans predicted. Of course, AN was getting a bit histrionic; the headline was just their wacky way of explaining that NADA is advising dealers to wait for regulations to publicly endorse the deal. The big news is the regulations. Now that the congressional pomp is over, the folks behind Government Motors are finding that the incentive game isn’t always easy. In fact, “It’s complex and not like anything we’ve ever run before,” admits the NHTSA’s Rae Tyson. “We’re starting from scratch.” What could possibly go wrong?
Dealers already have mechanisms for disposing of vehicles that they don’t want to resell. We’re going to require some foolproof means of proving that the vehicle will never be on the road again.
But don’t worry. Top men are working on it. Top men. Quoth AN, “one option may require dealers ensure that the engines or other key components are removed from the older vehicles.” Really? That had better not be the best brainstorming our government can muster. Here’s a pro-bono suggestion: send in the National Guard and let qualifying buyers destroy their clunkers with the latest military hardware.
Meanwhile, the NHTSA is talking to CNNMoney about the appearance of cash for clunker registries. Consumers do not need to register for the program. Don’t give out your social security number. And “one clue that Web sites aren’t real is if they use the name ‘Cash for Clunkers.'”
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