By on July 30, 2009

“We’ve gotten thousands of thousands of questions regarding issues that Congress never dreamed of,” admit NHTSA spokesfolk to the NY Times. Say it ain’t so! The latest clunker stumper is the issue of gray market imports, which do not have official EPA ratings. When the Gray Lady’s Christine Negroni asked NHTSA if her gray market 1985 Mercedes 230E would qualify for a CARS rebate, the answer was likely accompanied by a heavy sigh. “It’s a question of determining if there’s a comparable model being sold in the U.S. that can determine fuel economy,” explains NHTSA’s Rae Tyson. “Our lawyers are going to have to make a decision.” Meanwhile questions like this have flooded the CARS hotline with some 45,000 calls. Not that calling the hotline would help with the gray market question. “If the question has stumped me, it’s going to stump the hot line too,” says Tyson. “It’s going to require an interpretation that we’re not equipped to make right now.”

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