Cash for clunkers, part 2: more questions and answers

The Center for Auto Safety is the nation’s premier independent, member driven, non-profit consumer advocacy organization dedicated to improving vehicle safety, quality, and fuel economy on behalf of all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

June 22, 2009

Q: I own and drive two 1979 Fords — a customized van and a Lincoln Continental. Both are in good shape and I keep them maintained. However, since the clunker rule only allows vehicles made no earlier than 1984, I am barred from participating. Isn’t this age discrimination?

A: Vehicles more than 25 years old won’t qualify for a voucher. You can thank "the antique car lobby" for this restriction, says Dan Becker, director of the Safe Climate Campaign. "They were out in force saying this (program) would cause the scrappage of vehicles that have parts we need."

Environmentalists did not object to the restriction. "Those vehicles are rarely driven. It’s not a good deal from taxpayer perspective to be paying thousands of bucks for a car that shows up at a picnic once a year," Becker says.

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