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Brian Pasch

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Cash for Clunkers Questions and RulesThe National Automotive Dealers Association (NADA) and NHTSA hosted a webinar today covering the law and rules associated with the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS).

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration CARS program was created by the controversial Cash for Clunkers bill that was signed by President Obama on June 24, 2009.

Consumers have been getting answers to many questions about the CARS program on the only official NHTSA website located at http://cars.gov

However, my blog at www.cashforclunkersfacts.com has documented many consumer concerns and questions that still remain unanswered. The outcome of today's webinar still kept two popular questions unanswered. The third question, which was never submitted to this website, was brought up in the webinar and does pose an interesting inquiry.

Popular Consumers Concerns Unanswered

The webinar questions submitted covered many topics. Here are three questions that the NHTSA still has to issue a ruling on:

  1. Can a parent who has a qualifying "clunker" use it as a credit toward a new car purchase that will be titled in the name of their child?
  2. Can a consumer trade-in a qualifying "clunker" if it has a lien?
  3. Can non-US citizens who own a qualifying "clunker" participate.

These three questions remained unanswered . The NHTSA said that their attorneys will be reviewing the law to determine the right course of action and to form a rule.

Funding Remains in Question

We surveyed a number of car dealers after the webinar and many expressed their concern that the CARS funding would run out by the end of August. Everyone was unclear of how additional funding may be secured. If this is the case, consumers who delay in making a decision could be left out of the program. This is not the first time we are hearing concerns about Cash for Clunkers funding.

Dealer Registration Clarified

Dealers learned today that all major OEM manufacturers have provided the NHTSA with their dealer mailing lists. New car dealers will receive a letter from NHTSA in the mail which will advise them how to register. The official letter will be part of the official registration process.

NHTSA has promised to keep automotive dealers in the loop as the law is interpreted by NHTSA lawyers and asked for their patience. The review process to implement a law and create operational rules normally takes a much longer time. Everyone at the NHTSA is doing the best they can to get the program rules in place by the end of the month.

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