The CARS program (aka Cash for Clunkers) is up and running in the US, with the final rules and regs published in the last 24 hours or so.
In order to qualify for Cash for Clunkers, your old car needs to get 18mpg or worse. There are stories filtering through the web today of people who’s clunkers got 18mpg last week, but are suddenly getting 19mpg now that they’re looking to scrap them.
It seems that in the lead up to C-day, the EPA decided to do a review of mileage ratings for vehicles and make a few adjustments – and these adjustments have a few people up in arms.
One of those people wrote into Edmunds about not being into scrap his Saab 900.
Same thing just happened to me – 1992 SAAB 900S 2.1 Liter, Automatic – was 18 mpg on fueleconomy.gov two days ago – went to the dealer this morning, filled out the paperwork to buy my new Honda and the dealer tells me my car doesn’t qualify – now shows 19mpg.
Now, I know it’s a non-turbo and I know it’s an automatic, but it’s still a classic Saab 900 and therefore, should never be put in a clunker position, regardless of whether people think it’s clunking or not.
OK, I guess it’s free choice, but I’m almost happy some of these cars will stay on the road.
Getting old smoke-belching, rusty tanks off the road is one thing, but to remove automotive character is another thing all together. I think there’s been similar sentiments expressed in other countries where scrappage schemes have been successful (esp France).
If you’re thinking about clunking your Saab, please think again. Once it’s traded it has to be permanently disabled and can’t be enjoyed by another.
If that appeal hasn’t moved you, at least make sure you double-check your EPA mileage rating to make sure it qualifies.