Cash For Clunkers Confusion

By: Tiffany Teasley Email
By: Tiffany Teasley Email

Laura Crossley was optimistic about trading in her 2000 Chevrolet Blazer, a clunker that only gets about 16 miles to the gallon, but that didn't happen.

"I wasn't approved because, I got married eight months ago, and the title of the car says my previous name," Crossley said.

Even if she'd gotten a marriage certificate as proof she'd owned the car for more than a year, her ride was rejected, and it's the devil in those details Crossley says, that's made "Cash For Clunkers" easier said than done.

"It almost sounds like you're guaranteed to get this deal if you have the right car and you want to purchase the right car, but that's not true, " Crossley said.

Dealers are also feeling the frustration, and while they're happy to see more customers, they say the clunkers are causing confusion.

"There's a lot of paperwork, there's a lot of new paperwork, it seems like since July 24, there's different forms that are coming out and we're having to do a lot of faxing and e-mailing an getting signatures ," said Jason Cords of Shaheen Chevrolet

And because some of the guidelines changed midstream, General Manager Jason Cords says dealers are double checking that cars still qualify so they get reimbursed.

And they say the hotline for dealers and customers has been a dead end.

"I could not get through, I spent almost an hour getting a busy signal on the hotline number," Crossley said.

"Yesterday we had one of our managers on hold for almost 2 hours," Cords said.

But as long as you have your drivers license and know your plate number or VIN number, the Secretary of State is trying to make it easier for clunkers customers.

"People who want to participate in the program can stop by any branch office across the state and request a copy of their vehicle registration history," said Ken Silfven of the Secretary of State.

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  • by Anonymous on Jul 30, 2009 at 08:18 AM
    This is a self support tax subsidy.
  • by Dan Location: DeWitt on Jul 29, 2009 at 09:10 PM
    Agreed that dealing with the gov't is never an easy or straightforward task. However, sometimes keeping the old car in lieu of a car payment isn't an option. I took advantage of the C4C program (and had no problems at all) trading in my 2001 GMC Jimmy for a 2009 Ford Escape. Over the 4 years I owned the Jimmy I put over 8k in repairs into the vehicle. While that is less than the payments I will put in on my new vehicle, I can also now drive on the freeway without fear that the wheels will fly off from substandard bearings and I can drive outside the tri-county area without fear of breaking down in the middle of no where. Sometimes peace of mind is worth the price tag. Especially when you're getting rid of a substandard vehicle. As for peoples problems with the C4C program, most of them could be avoided if people would take initiative and actually READ the final rule issued by NHTSA and doing some real research on their own.
  • by JoeyLoey Location: Lansing on Jul 29, 2009 at 06:48 PM
    Well what did you expect? After all you are dealling with the Government you know. What did you expect quick service? There is no such thing as a govenrment "hotline".. Ill keep my 5 year old trailbalzer, thank you very much. It's paid off and I just put new oxygen sensors on it so its running pretty good right now. Any money I have to put into repairs will certainly be a lot less then a monthly carpayment for the next four or five years. I cant think of a better ecenomic stimulus then NO CAR PAYMENT...
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