Anyone thinking of doing it? Here's the article.
U.S. House members reach deal on cash for clunkers
By TODD SPANGLER and JUSTIN HYDE • FREE PRESS WASHINGTON STAFF • May 5, 2009
WASHINGTON – Key House members agreed today on a cash-for-clunkers plan intended to spark sales of newer, more fuel-efficient vehicles by giving buyers up to $4,500 for retiring older model gas guzzlers.
Such a plan is still far from a certainty: The costs of such a plan were not revealed and it was unclear how the Senate would react. But the agreement by Democratic members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee — announced today after they met with President Barack Obama — indicates legislation should move ahead to create the program.
U.S. Rep. John Dingell of Dearborn, who attended the meeting along with Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman of California, called the plan “critically important and sensibly balanced.”
It could help replace as many as 1 million vehicles, though that’s a small portion of the 250 million or more on the road in the United States. There are no specific incentives for buying vehicles made by the Detroit Three. But provisions that encourage the swaps on older vehicles, specifically SUVs and trucks, should help U.S. manufacturers in particular because they dominate that market.
Ziad Ojakli, Ford Motor Co.’s vice president for government and community relations, said the program is needed now to “help jump-start auto sales and the U.S. economy.”
People who drive passenger cars that get less than 18 miles per gallon (based on EPA’s combined city/highway window sticker number) would have to buy a new car getting at least 22 m.p.g. to be eligible for a voucher toward the cost of the new car.
If the new car’s mileage rating is at least 4 m.p.g. higher than the old vehicle, the buyer would get a voucher for $3,500 toward the price of the new car worth $3,500. If the new car’s mileage is at least 10 m.p.g. higher than the old vehicle, the voucher would be worth $4,500.
There also would be incentives for small trucks, SUVs, large light-duty trucks and pre-2002 work trucks.
For small trucks and sport-utility vehicles, the old vehicle must get less than 18 m.p.g. and the new at least 18 m.p.g. If the new vehicle’s mileage is at least 2 m.p.g. more than the old, the voucher is $3,500; if it’s 5 m.p.g. more or higher, the voucher would be worth $4,500.
For large light-duty trucks, the old vehicle must get less than 18 m.p.g. – though new large trucks getting at least 15 m.p.g. are eligible for vouchers. If the new truck is at least 1 m.p.g. more efficient than the old, the voucher is worth $3,500; if 2 m.p.g. or more, the voucher is worth $4,500.
Finally, buyers would be able to trade in any pre-2002 work truck – defined as a pickup truck or cargo van weighing from 8,500 to 10,000 pounds – and receive a voucher worth $3,500 for a new work truck in the same or smaller weight class, since newer vehicles tend to be more fuel efficient. There would be a set number of these vouchers, however.