By on July 30, 2009

Do you have a vehicle that was eligible for the government’s CARS program until the EPA revised old mileage averages? If so, your vehicle is no longer eligible for the $3,500-$4,500 incentive. If you had set up a deal before the final rule came out, however, the government will hook you up regardless. “We’ve tried to come up with the fairest possible solution under the circumstances,” CARS’ long-suffering spokesman, Rae Tyson, explains to Automotive News [sub]. But it’s hard to see what exactly is fair about that. Didn’t NHTSA specifically warn that “if a dealer chooses to structure a transaction before the final rule is issued, they will bear the risks associated with later demonstrating that the transaction meets all of the specifications of the final rule”? Why are the folks who ignored the warning being rewarded, while those who waited for the rules get the shaft? More importantly, if anyone got away with engine-melting a 1987 Alfa GTV (recently reprieved by the EPA mileage mulligan), there are going to be phones ringing in at least one congresscritter’s office. Hit the jump for a complete list of clunkers which saw their eligibility change due to the EPA revision.


1987 Buick Regal
1987 Cadillac Brougham
1987 Chevrolet Caprice
1987 Chevrolet G10/20 Van 2WD
1987 Chevrolet R10 Pickup 2WD
1987 Chevrolet T10 Blazer 4WD
1987 Chevrolet T10 Pickup 4WD
1987 GMC G15/25 Vandura 2WD
1987 GMC R15 Pickup 2WD
1987 GMC T15 Jimmy 4WD
1987 GMC T15 Pickup 4WD
1987 Jeep Cherokee/Wagoneer 4WD
1987 Jeep Comanche 4WD
1987 Nissan 300ZX
1987 Nissan 300ZX 2×2
1987 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme
1987 Porsche 911
1988 Alfa Romeo Milano
1988 BMW 3 Series
1988 BMW 3 Series
1988 Mercedes-Benz 260E
1988 Mercury Cougar
1988 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Classic
1989 Alfa Romeo Milano
1989 Austin Rover Sterling
1989 BMW M3
1989 Chevrolet S10 Blazer 4WD
1989 Chevrolet S10 Pickup 4WD
1989 Dodge Caravan/Grand Caravan/Ram Van 2WD
1989 Ford Taurus Wagon V6 A/C
1989 GMC S15 Jimmy 4WD
1989 GMC S15 Pickup 4WD
1989 Mercury Sable Wagon V6 A/C
1989 Plymouth Voyager/Grand Voyager 2WD
1990 BMW 325i Convertible
1990 BMW 525i
1990 BMW M3
1990 Chrysler New Yorker Fifth Avenue/Imperial
1990 Chrysler TC By Convertible
1990 Ford Taurus Wagon
1990 Isuzu Pickup 2WD
1990 Mercury Sable Wagon
1991 Alfa Romeo 164
1991 BMW M3
1991 Ford Taurus Wagon
1991 Jeep Cherokee 2WD
1991 Mercury Sable Wagon
1992 Alfa Romeo 164
1992 Chrysler Imperial
1993 Acura Legend
1993 Alfa Romeo 164
1993 Buick Park Avenue
1993 Mitsubishi Diamante
1993 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight
1994 Eagle Summit Wagon
1994 Ford LTD Crown Victoria
1994 Ford Thunderbird
1994 Isuzu Pickup 2WD
1994 Lincoln Lincolin Town Car
1994 Lincoln Mark VIII
1994 Mercury Cougar
1994 Mercury Grand Marquis
1994 Mitsubishi Expo
1994 Plymouth Colt Vista
1994 Volkswagen Passat
1994 Volkswagen Passat
1994 Volkswagen Passat Wagon
1994 Volkswagen Passat Wagon
1995 Eagle Summit Wagon
1995 Lincoln Mark VIII
1995 Mitsubishi Expo
1995 Volkswagen Jetta III GLX
1995 Volkswagen Passat
1995 Volkswagen Passat Wagon
1996 Chrysler Concorde
1996 Chrysler New Yorker/LHS
1996 Eagle Vision
1996 Mitsubishi 3000 GT Spyder
1996 Volkswagen Passat
1996 Volkswagen Passat Wagon
1997 Mercedes-Benz E420
1997 Toyota 4Runner 2WD
1997 Toyota T100 2WD
1997 Volkswagen Passat
1997 Volkswagen Passat Wagon
2004 Mazda RX-8


1987 Alfa Romeo GTV
1987 Alfa Romeo Milano
1987 BMW 5 Series
1987 Chevrolet S10 Blazer 2WD
1987 Dodge Caravan/Grand Caravan/Ram Van 2WD
1987 Dodge Shadow
1987 Ford Aerostar Van
1987 Ford LTD Crown Victoria
1987 Ford LTD Crown Victoria Wagon
1987 GMC S15 Jimmy 2WD
1987 Lincoln Continental
1987 Lincoln Mark VII
1987 Lincoln Town Car
1987 Mercury Grand Marquis
1987 Mercury Grand Marquis Wagon
1987 Plymouth Sundance
1987 Plymouth Voyager/Grand Voyager 2WD
1987 Plymouth Voyager/Grand Voyager 2WD
1987 Porsche 944
1987 Toyota Truck 4WD
1988 Mazda 929
1988 Peugeot 505 Sedan
1988 Peugeot 505 Sedan
1988 Toyota 4Runner 4WD
1989 Mazda 929
1989 Peugeot 505 Sedan
1989 Porsche 911 Carrera
1990 Audi 80 Quattro
1990 Dodge Caravan/Grand Caravan/Ram Van 2WD
1990 Plymouth Voyager/Grand Voyager 2WD
1990 Saab 9000
1990 Toyota 1-Ton Truck 2WD
1990 Toyota Truck 2WD
1991 Audi 80 Quattro
1991 Dodge Caravan/Grand Caravan 2WD
1991 Dodge Ram 50 Pickup 2WD
1991 Lexus ES 250
1991 Mitsubishi Truck 2WD
1991 Plymouth Voyager/Grand Voyager 2WD
1991 Toyota Camry
1991 Toyota Camry Wagon
1992 Acura NSX
1992 Dodge Caravan/Grand Caravan 2WD
1992 Dodge Ram 50 Pickup 2WD
1992 Jeep Cherokee 4WD
1992 Jeep Comanche Pickup 4WD
1992 Mitsubishi Truck 2WD
1992 Plymouth Voyager/Grand Voyager 2WD
1992 Saab 900
1992 Saab 900
1993 Dodge Ram 50 Pickup 2WD
1993 Dodge Stealth
1993 Jeep Comanche Pickup 2WD
1993 Mitsubishi 3000 GT
1993 Mitsubishi Truck 2WD
1993 Toyota Camry
1993 Toyota Camry Wagon
1994 Mazda B2300/B3000/B4000 Pickup 2WD
1994 Mazda MPV
1994 Mitsubishi Diamante Wagon
1994 Volkswagen Corrado SLC
1995 Kia Sportage 2WD
1995 Mazda MPV
1995 Toyota Tacoma 2WD
1996 Jeep Cherokee 2WD
1996 Nissan Truck 2WD
1996 Toyota Supra
1996 Volkswagen Jetta GLX
1997 Chrysler Concorde
1997 Chrysler New Yorker/LHS
1997 Dodge Intrepid
1997 Eagle Vision
1997 Kia Sportage 4WD
1997 Mercedes-Benz C36 AMG
1997 Nissan Truck 2WD
1997 Toyota Supra
1997 Toyota T100 2WD
1997 Volkswagen Jetta GLX

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

21 Comments on “Cash For Clunkers: Fortune Favors the Impatient...”

  • avatar

    This program is a repulsive waste of money.

    It wouldn’t be, but it’s just so incredibly badly done. Instead of giving these vehicles over to charity, as donor vehicles for parts, or something useful they’re just going to the crusher.

    So we’re disposing of transportation that took hundreds of thousands of gallons and lots of energy to make, and we’re disposing them using even more energy. Meanwhile, the EPA raises mileage estimates for vehicles both used and new both so less people can take advantage of the program and ditch aging, broken, inefficient clunkers, while new vehicle purchasers taking advantage of C4C will have more options to replace their cars.

    Check out mileage ratings on the 2010 Chevrolet Colorado. The mileage for a 4cyl, automatic or manual has been increased to 18/25, over the 18/24 it got for MY 2009. Is it getting aerodynamic improvements we haven’t heard about yet? Did they reprogram the engine computer system for more efficient highway driving? Or did the EPA do it so more people could buy an American vehicle when they trade in for C4C? With the fact that they lowered mileage on older vehicles specifically to take automobiles out of the running, who knows? It probably isn’t so shady but such fishiness makes you wonder.

    Real clunkers aren’t being taken off the roads. Unsafe, inefficient, high-polluting vehicles aren’t necessarily being switched out, because they don’t get bad enough mileage to qualify. There are people out there driving thirty-year old rust buckets belching smoke, but they can’t use this to get a better car, because their car doesn’t get bad enough mileage according to the EPA, and we’re supposed to buy new, not used.

    I’ve seen people driving vehicles that make an Aveo look like a Rolls-Royce. But they’re being punished for buying frugal, efficient vehicles, while affluent people who bought Hummers and Expeditions are able to get a cool $4500 towards buying a new vehicle ahead of schedule.

    What a load of bullshit.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Oh come on. If the NHTSA had gone the other way and told the people who acted in good faith tough luck, you would probably be complaining about the government sticking it to them.

    The law as passed by congress referenced the website numbers. It said nothing about “fixing” those numbers due to some perceived errors. The problem goes back to the fact that all of the “adjusted” EPA test cycle numbers for older model year vehicles are pure guesses not based on actual retest of the old model year vehicles to the newer test procedure.

    The NHTSA is doing the right thing in grandfathering in the people who relied on the previously posted information.

    Somewhere around 10 million vehicles per year get scrapped in the US. As presently constituted, another 0.25 million might get added to that number. That number may go up if more money is authorized. This does not spell the end of life as we know it for the used car and truck market. Plenty of good used engines are available from the other 10 million units to readily meet the needs for used parts. The vast majority of engines which go to the scrap yard today end up getting melted down in fairly short order. There is no shortage of good used engines.

  • avatar


  • avatar

    Why did EPA modify the mpg number of these old cars at this time? To disqualify Toyota Camry?

    I mean, I can understand if they change the way they evaluate mpg of new cars. But with old cars, where do they even find enough samples to conduct the testing?

  • avatar

    John Horner +1. Totally. Sure, these people should have waited, but who the hell knew the EPA was going to sidestep the rules?

  • avatar


    Uh, no. It’s an Alfa GTV6.
    I just drove one to work today as a matter of fact…

  • avatar

    Do you have a vehicle that was eligible for the government’s CARS program …

    No. Not the ’89 Civic, not the ’98 Ranger.

    I was tempted to consider a new Patriot for about $10k after the CARS money and Chrysler’s matching discount. But no, I’ve been too frugal – choosing cars with decent mileage. It’s ok, I didn’t really want a new car right now, it’s just the thought of picking one up for about half price that tempted me.

  • avatar

    My dealer group just quit the program after 2 days, and several other Hyundai dealers we work with have either skipped the program or been burned by it. Typical government BS.

    Too much work for $$loser deals.

  • avatar

    Hmmm, is this some insight about what government healthcare would look like?

    Yep, just like the post office!

  • avatar

    Of personal interest after reviewing the list of now-eligible cars, the 94 Crown Vic/Grand Marquis are now eligible. My 93 is not. And somehow an 89 Taurus/Sable 6 cyl wagon (with air) gets worse mileage than my V8 rear drive 93 Vic. Fascinating. I think jkross22 may be onto something.

  • avatar

    CNBC just reported (7:23pm EST) that the Cash for Clunkers program is being suspended at midnight due to all funds being used.

    Anyone else see this?

  • avatar

    dwford, I just saw an article on the Detroit Free Press website that says C4C is being suspended, but my impression is the problem is there’s confusion as to what’s in the pipeline. Apparently there’s quite a processing backlog.

  • avatar

    2004 Mazda RX-8? The only car on the list made in this decade. A friend of mine just made the last payment on his 2004 RX-8 2 days ago. Chance that he (or any sane person) would now want to crush this car and buy something with higher MPG – 0%. What a joke. Yes, it gets less than stellar milage, but I doubt he’ll care while he spends this long weekend booting his car around an autocross course. Proof positive that ‘clunker’ and ‘poor MPG’ are not interchangeable.

  • avatar

    I assume the missing word in “1990 Chrysler TC By Convertible” is “Maserati.” Wonder if any of these have gotten “clunked” . . .

  • avatar

    I called the CARS hotline and they still have plenty of money (at least as of this morning) but may suspend further dealer submissions to get caught up and see where they are with the program.

  • avatar

    I see the 1997 Mercedes C36 is no longer part of the program. If I remember correctly, though, the original owner payed a special “gas guzzler” tax at time of purchase.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    The concept of Cash for Clunkers is totally wrong. We’ve seen that people perform better and do the right thing when rewarded for outstanding performance and going beyond just “being responsible.”

    In other words, the reason companies pay bonuses to their employees is because the concept works. Don’t just do your job and do what’s right, do more and do it better. And for those who do, it’s “Ka-ching!”

    What Cash For Clunkers does is reward people who have been irresponsible in their vehicular choices.

    What they should have done is figured out a way to reward citizens who have been driving non-Guzzlers. The hybrid drivers have had their rewards through tax breaks, but I’m talking about everyone else. And if they REALLY wanted to get serious about rewarding people for reducing their “carbon footprint,” the Cash-for-Clunkers would actually apply only for people who are driving older non-guzzlers. Trade in your ’89 Civic that you’ve kept on the road all these years and get a new economy car.

    Keep in mind, the carbon footprint of a vehicle isn’t just in operating it. There’s also the pre-consumer part of carbon output, and that’s not an insignificant number.

  • avatar

    Ugh, I just felt pangs of loss from seeing that GTV6, it looks almost identical to the one I sold years ago.

    Good thing I have first right of refusal if the owner ever sells it.

    Also, it makes no sense that 87 Milanos are off the list while the 88-89 are on, the engines options were all the same. Maybe they’re trying to distinguish between the 3.0 and 2.5 but that’s not clear.

    I send the plague in the general direction of anyone who scraps an Alfa, you truly suck.

  • avatar

    I send the plague in the general direction of anyone who scraps an Alfa, you truly suck.

    Amen to that!

  • avatar

    I don’t get all the comparisons of the total suckage of this scrappage program with the post office. USPS has its problems, but as an ebay trader I can nearly always count on two- to three-day priority mail service coast to coast, and one package in the last ten years has failed to arrive, and no package has arrived with the contents damaged so I had to make good on it.

    The scrappage program, on the other hand, just plain effing sucks. The only way it could be made better imo is if the turned-in vehicles were turned over for free to the local demolition-derby crowd. That would realize the objective of getting them off the roads.

  • avatar

    I send the plague in the general direction of anyone who scraps an Alfa, you truly suck.

    +2 to that

    I will gladly take anyones Alfa bound for the scrap yard and what a crime it would be to destoy their awesome twincam motors.

    An Alfa GTV6 in nice condition like the one pictured would sell for more then this stupid clunker program would pay out. If you own and Alfa and would consider scrapping it for this program you are no Alfisti and should hand over your keys to me.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • beachy: Going to be interesting to see what happens when small contractors figure out that this truck can seriously...
  • Lou_BC: I’m in a centre of rural conservative North Central BC. The local Ford dealer has zero problem selling...
  • Lou_BC: Gotta hug something when all the trees are gone ;)
  • Lou_BC: I read about a local company starting to install systems that allow trucks to run on a blend of diesel and...
  • Lou_BC: @freedMike – Yeah. Myopic. It’s a global problem. Big oil producers like OPEC’kers and...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber