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Cash For Clunkers: Family Unfriendly?

There’s an unfortunate wrinkle in the Federal Cash for Clunkers proposals. As proposed, the programs discriminate against large families.

The Clean Car Rebate Act of 2009 (H.R.1808) offers a modest sliding scale of rebates for vehicles that have a combined average of 28 miles per gallon (MPG) or more.

That’s all well and good for folks that can get by with a vehicle that fits into those criteria. A compact four passenger car should have no problem averaging 28 MPG.

But what about families that need to transport five or more people safely and comfortably? How many vehicles qualify for the program?

Under this proposal, large families will not receive funds to purchase a fuel-efficient vehicle that fits their needs … because the criteria for qualification is flawed.

One solution might be to fund swaps with a specific vehicle-by-vehicle MPG improvement qualification threshold. For example, a 6 MPG improvement threshold might provide a rebate for folks swapping a Ford Expedition for a Ford Flex.

Take a look at the vehicles that currently qualify for H.R.1808 (as initially proposed) and envision how six people would fit into any one of them. Then, consider how many of these vehicles are built in the United States.

This bill while well-intentioned, needs tweaks …

2009 Cars – 28 MPG or Higher

Year Manf. Model Engine Disp. Fuel Trans. City Hwy Combine
2009 CHEVROLET AVEO 4 cyl. 1.6L R (L4) Auto 25 34 28
2009 CHEVROLET AVEO 4 cyl. 1.6L R (M5) Man. 27 34 30
2009 CHEVROLET AVEO 5 4 cyl. 1.6L R (M5) Man. 27 34 30
2009 CHEVROLET AVEO 5 4 cyl. 1.6L R (L4) Auto 25 34 28
2009 CHEVROLET COBALT XFE 4 cyl. 2.2L R (M5) Man. 25 37 30
2009 CHEVROLET MALIBU HYBRID 4 cyl. 2.4L R (L4) Auto 26 34 29
2009 FORD ESCAPE HYBRID FWD 4 cyl. 2.5L R (AV) Auto 34 31 32
2009 FORD FOCUS FWD 4 cyl. 2.0L R (M5) Man. 24 35 28
2009 HONDA CIVIC 4 cyl. 1.8L R (L5) Auto 25 36 29
2009 HONDA CIVIC 4 cyl. 1.8L C (L5) Auto 24 36 28
2009 HONDA CIVIC 4 cyl. 1.8L R (M5) Man. 26 34 29
2009 HONDA CIVIC HYBRID 4 cyl. 1.3L R (AV) Auto 40 45 42
2009 HONDA FIT 4 cyl. 1.5L R (M5) Man. 27 33 29
2009 HONDA FIT 4 cyl. 1.5L R (L5) Auto 28 35 31
2009 HONDA FIT 4 cyl. 1.5L R (S5) Auto 27 33 30
2009 HYUNDAI ACCENT 4 cyl. 1.6L R (M5) Man. 27 33 29
2009 HYUNDAI ACCENT 4 cyl. 1.6L R (L4) Auto 26 35 29
2009 HYUNDAI ELANTRA 4 cyl. 2.0L R (L4) Auto 25 33 28
2009 KIA RIO 4 cyl. 1.6L R (L4) Auto 26 35 30
2009 KIA RIO 4 cyl. 1.6L R (M5) Man. 27 33 30
2009 MAZDA TRIBUTE HYBRID 2WD 4 cyl. 2.5L R (AV) Auto 34 31 32
2009 MERCURY MARINER HYBRID FWD 4 cyl. 2.5L R (AV) Auto 34 31 32
2009 MINI MINI CLUBMAN 4 cyl. 1.6L P (M6) Man. 28 37 32
2009 MINI MINI CLUBMAN 4 cyl. 1.6L P (S6) Auto 25 34 29
2009 MINI MINI CLUBMAN S 4 cyl. 1.6L P (M6) Man. 26 34 29
2009 MINI MINI COOPER 4 cyl. 1.6L P (M6) Man. 28 37 32
2009 MINI MINI COOPER 4 cyl. 1.6L P (S6) Auto 25 34 29
2009 MINI MINI COOPER S 4 cyl. 1.6L P (M6) Man. 26 34 29
2009 MINI MINI J.C.W. 4 cyl. 1.6L P (M6) Man. 26 34 29
2009 MINI MINI J.C.W. CLUBMAN 4 cyl. 1.6L P (M6) Man. 26 34 29
2009 MINI MINI J.C.W CONV 4 cyl. 1.6L P (M6) Man. 26 34 29
2009 NISSAN ALTIMA HYBRID 4 cyl. 2.5L R (AV) Auto 35 33 34
2009 NISSAN VERSA 4 cyl. 1.8L R (M6) Man. 26 31 28
2009 NISSAN VERSA 4 cyl. 1.8L R (AV) Auto 27 33 29
2009 PONTIAC G3 4 cyl. 1.6L R (L4) Auto 25 34 28
2009 PONTIAC G3 4 cyl. 1.6L R (M5) Man. 27 34 30
2009 PONTIAC G3 4 cyl. 1.6L R (L4) Auto 25 34 28
2009 PONTIAC G3 4 cyl. 1.6L R (M5) Man. 27 34 30
2009 PONTIAC G5 4 cyl. 2.2L R (M5) Man. 25 35 29
2009 PONTIAC G5 GT 4 cyl. 2.2L R (M5) Man. 25 35 29
2009 PONTIAC G5 XFE 4 cyl. 2.2L R (M5) Man. 25 37 30
2009 PONTIAC VIBE 4 cyl. 1.8L R (L4) Auto 26 31 28
2009 PONTIAC VIBE 4 cyl. 1.8L R (M5) Man. 26 32 28
2009 SATURN AURA HYBRID 4 cyl. 2.4L R (L4) Auto 26 34 29
2009 SATURN VUE HYBRID 4 cyl. 2.4L R (L4) Auto 25 32 28
2009 TOYOTA CAMRY HYBRID 4 cyl. 2.4L R (AV) Auto 33 34 34
2009 TOYOTA COROLLA 4 cyl. 1.8L R (M5) Man. 26 35 30
2009 TOYOTA COROLLA 4 cyl. 1.8L R (L4) Auto 27 35 30
2009 TOYOTA COROLLA MATRIX 4 cyl. 1.8L R (M5) Man. 26 32 28
2009 TOYOTA COROLLA MATRIX 4 cyl. 1.8L R (L4) Auto 25 31 28
2009 TOYOTA PRIUS 4 cyl. 1.5L R (AV) Auto 48 45 46
2009 TOYOTA SCION XD 4 cyl. 1.8L R (L4) Auto 26 32 28
2009 TOYOTA SCION XD 4 cyl. 1.8L R (M5) Man. 27 33 29
2009 TOYOTA YARIS 4 cyl. 1.5L R (L4) Auto 29 35 31
2009 TOYOTA YARIS 4 cyl. 1.5L R (M5) Man. 29 36 32
2009 VOLKSWAGEN JETTA 4 cyl. 2.0L D (M6) Man. 30 41 34
2009 VOLKSWAGEN JETTA 4 cyl. 2.0L D (S6) Auto 29 40 33
2009 VOLKSWAGEN JETTA SPORTWAGEN 4 cyl. 2.0L D (M6) Man. 30 41 34
2009 VOLKSWAGEN JETTA SPORTWAGEN 4 cyl. 2.0L D (S6) Auto 29 40 33

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