Gov’t tweaking Cash for Clunkers rules

Marketplace Staff Aug 14, 2009
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Gov’t tweaking Cash for Clunkers rules

Marketplace Staff Aug 14, 2009
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TEXT OF INTERVIEW

Bill Radke: The government is tweaking the rules on Cash for Clunkers. Some buyers haven’t been happy with what’s on the lot or with some of the agreements they’ve had to sign. Reporter Tamara Keith joins us live. Good morning.

Tamara Keith: Good morning.

Radke: So let’s start with what’s on the lot. What’s the problem?

Keith: Basically car dealers went from having more stock on hand than they knew what to do with to suddenly running out of cars. So people were coming in with their clunkers looking to get $3,500 or $4,500 towards a new car, only to find the selection of cars lacking. They were having to settle for cars they didn’t want or maybe an ugly color. Now with this change, they’ll be able to trade in their clunker and order the car they want. In the past, they would have to take the car straight off the lot. Take what they had.

Radke: OK. And what about this other issue. Consumer groups say some customers are being asked to sign up for a bad deal.

Keith: Yeah. Some dealers have been requiring buyers to sign forms that say if for some reason the federal government doesn’t reimburse them for the Cash for Clunkers rebate, that the buyer — not the dealer — will be on the hook for that money. Federal officials say that consumers absolutely do not need to sign agreements like that, and that they should just look for another dealer.

Radke: And finally Tamara, Cash for Clunkers was supposed to perk up the car industry. So how’s that going?

Keith: Well I can tell you that Ford is now planning to build nearly 500,000 cars between July and September, and The Detroit Free Press reports that’s 18 percent than they built last year, and 10,000 more than they had planned to build just as recently as June. So it is having an impact.

Radke: Reporter Tamara Keith joining us live there. Thank you Tamara.

Keith: Thank you.

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