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Cash for Clunkers, in plain English

Posted by Clifford Atiyeh  July 27, 2009 10:14 AM

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Whatever your opinion on the government dumping $1 billion on car lots everywhere — also known as the Car Allowance Rebate System, which began officially last Friday — you'll need to decipher the program's complex set of rules to see if you'll actually benefit.

Luckily, Keith Griffin, the used car expert at, has done it so no one else has to go through the pain of reading a government website.

Oh, and that rebate? It might be taxable.

Get more used car advice at

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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228 comments so far...
  1. this is dumb....i coulda got 9000 from chrysler off a new car if i didnt take my clunker off the road a year and a 1/2 ago....the govt always finds a way to screw me.

    Posted by igotscrewed July 27, 09 10:26 AM
  1. Good attempt but not perfect trade in program. There is a related post at

    Posted by carly July 27, 09 10:50 AM
  1. Its very unfortunate that this program settled on 18 MPG as the cut-off point (apparently the final rules reduced that from 20 in the draft rules). As an owner of a 22 MPG 10-year old Infiniti, it would be great to be eligible for up to $4500 (even taxable) towards a new more fuel efficient (30 MPG and up) model. I dare say there are plenty of others in my situation, those who never bought into the SUV/4WD pickup craze, yet who could make a sizable increase in fuel efficiency. How many people trading in eligible clunkers will just get a new truck? How is that more efficient?

    Posted by Joe Free July 27, 09 11:01 AM
  1. How do they determine whether your "clunker" gets less than 18 combined MPG? Based on the manufacturer's original spec? because that has clearly declined as a car ages... is there some chart/book that they're basing it on?

    Posted by Cole Reamers July 27, 09 11:04 AM
  1. While most people do not encounter scams, they are out there and buyer beware. Here are some of the most common scams:

    Posted by Jaxon July 27, 09 11:19 AM
  1. Yes based on the original spec. Dealers are going by this website to determine the MPG rating. Also take a look at Explains everything on there. I was just able to take advantage of the program by trading in my 2000 cherokee for a new 09 jeep patriot. 4500 from the gov't and 3500 from chrysler, not too bad.

    Posted by Clunker July 27, 09 11:46 AM
  1. Another Joke on the taxpayers . Anyone driving a clinker cannot afford to upgrade in this economy

    Posted by clark02 July 27, 09 12:46 PM
  1. Already get more than 18 mpg? Already trade in your "clunker?" As always, no good deed goes unpunished.

    Posted by Scottilla July 27, 09 03:22 PM
  1. My biggest problem, is if this was really about getting cars that pollute the environment off the road, why is it limited to vehicles that get 18MPG or less and then doesn't actually require a significant upgrade in MPG, going to 18-20MPG is not making much of an impact. Also, you would want to include cars over 10 years old, regardless of MPG because they don't have modern pollution controls. What this really is, is giving GM, Chrysler and Ford a chance at selling new SUV's, because foreign cars had better gas mileage.

    Posted by mtbr1975 July 27, 09 03:48 PM
  1. Sure they can afford it, some people are frugal and don't upgrade their cars every 2-3 years. They hold out for good deals such as this. The people that are complaining about CFC are the ones that don't have the qualifying cars.

    Posted by junie b jones July 27, 09 04:01 PM
  1. Good luck finding a Jeep under the program, apparenty 71 Miles around Toledo Ohio, where the Jeep's are made a 2009 Jeep Compas can't be found. But the salesman directed me to the Nissen lot...way to go Chrysler, with The Big O running your company, you can send more people away to buy Foreign cars...

    Did anyone in Washington ever think to include an "made in America" clause to the program....was the UAW too busy counting all the healthcare funds they cashed in from the companys to support this. Why on earth in the USA cant we support vehicles made in the USA, since were going to use taxpayer funds and all.

    Posted by JT July 27, 09 05:17 PM
  1. I agree that this is not about fuel efficiency. It's to keep the UAW workers going a little bit longer.

    Posted by Anonymous July 27, 09 06:57 PM
  1. I had a '92 Isuzu Trooper LS which I've owned since day 1. It was in great condition and could have easily gone another 50K miles. It saddens me to think that they are going to destroy it when there are so many poor people in this country who can't afford a car and sleep in card board boxes. But, I couldn't pass up the deal. Bought a new VW Jetta TDI today. That 1 billion will be gone before friday.

    Posted by Frank July 27, 09 09:59 PM
  1. I also tried getting a patriot today and there isnt one anywhere in the state of Illinois what a waste.I was going to trade in my Jeep Cherokee for a more fuel efficient model but I guess now.

    Posted by Pete July 27, 09 11:19 PM
  1. On 24 Jul 09, I left my 15 mpg, 8-year old vehicle with First Honda of Texas, Austin, Texas, with the agreement that I would get $4,500 credit on a new car. I selected a new car and paid a deposit along with my agreement to pay cash for the balance due on Tuesday 28 Jul 09. I made an appointment to pick up the car at 1:30 pm, 28 Jul 09.

    The day before the delivery date, I got a call indicating that I would have to wait 10 days before picking up the new car. Honda was apparently worried that the government might not reimburse them for the clunker.

    Based on First Honda of Texas' statement that the car would be available on Tuesday, 28 Jul 09, I made a business appointment for 29 Jul 09. I am a small business person and cannot make a living without a vehicle. A car rental in a city 200 miles away from my office will add greatly to my expenses.

    I was not initially told about and I did not have the opportunity to agree to a 10-day delay. Now I will have difficulty meeting that appointment (unless I pay for a rental) because First Honda of Texas has reneged on their agreement that I can drive my new vehicle off the lot on Tuesday.

    The agreement between the Federal government and the car dealers is just that. It is not a part of the agreement between First Honda and me that I could pay for (in full) and pick up my new vehicle as initially agreed.

    Be wary of any deals and be imaginative concerning loop holes that car dealers may use. Think encyclopedia salesman, used car salesman, and insurance company agents when you get into an agreement with car dealers.

    Posted by Jim Andrews July 27, 09 11:39 PM
  1. We can all drive more fuel efficient cars starting today without spending a dime - it's a matter of adjusting our driving habits. I learned a ton at an eco-driving workshop at this summer's Midwest Renewable Energy Fair. Check out the top ten tips at
    Denise Thornton

    Posted by Denise Thornton July 28, 09 09:18 AM
  1. My Honda Accord was 100% made in Ohio with parts 90% sourced from the U.S.. My Mercedes ML is made in factory in Alabama. Pretty sure those are mostly American workers and not Japanese and German's working in those factories. Sure, management is a mix, but the workers, the one's who secured stable jobs with stable companies, are certainly benefiting. The one's who had limited opportunity in these small communities, suddenly have a job with HONDA, which is A LOT more stable then having a job with GM or Chrysler... Get off the "Made in America" kick... Made in America covers a lot of things. "Managed in America" is what I'd beware of.

    Posted by Cole Reamers July 28, 09 10:12 AM
  1. I am running into problems with my car as well. I own a 2005 PT Cruiser which i recently found out is listed as an SUV, which is kind of a joke in my opinion, however the gas mileage is right up there, or down there with other SUV's around 19 MPG. I am a little frustrated because when i bought the car i was looking for something a little more fuel efficient, and for being a 4 cylinder, is not what i expected. Now the car is almost 5 years old and there is no way that i still get that kind of gas mileage, even with keeping it well maintained. I am just irritated because i literally dont qualify due to a measly 1 MPG, that's Washington for you. I would love a car that got 30+ MPG but looks like i am going to have to wait... again...

    Posted by Alexander July 28, 09 01:09 PM
  1. Here is the real clunker, signed my deal for my new Kia Sportege, old Astro van eligible for $4500, on Fri 7/24, still waiting for approval from Cars so the dealership will not release my car. could be up to another 48 hours of reviewing by who knows before I get my car. If not done by Friday, I will have to pay the extra sales tax increase that goes into effect Aug 1 here in Taxachusetts. Quirk Kia has 20 cars they sold only two sales have been inputed into the website for approval. As long as the dealership gets a voucher number from the government they will get paid, but it will take 10days to get to the dealership account.

    Posted by Diane Ricardo July 28, 09 03:14 PM
  1. This Program is a joke..I have a 1986 Cutlass and according to the Govt guidelines it dosen't qualify. The website says that it gets 19 MPG and the minimum is 18. How can a 1986 not be a clunker?? It's a total joke!!!

    Posted by soxfan213 July 28, 09 03:41 PM
  1. I don't think the rebate can be taxed. It states in the FAQ ( on

    Q. Is the credit subject to being taxed as income to the consumers that participate in the program?

    A. The CARS Act expressly provides that the credit is not income for the consumer.

    'Not Income' means no taxes at the end of the year.

    Posted by Joe Reader July 28, 09 08:36 PM
  1. Jim Andrews -

    Had a similar experience with Toyota of Watertown MA. Brought a clunker there, had all the required paperwork. Deal was in the works for a few weeks. Was told Come on Monday the 27th. Was getting a Prius. Get there (drive all the way from Vermont, mind you, 4 hours!) and were told that they would have to deliver the car to us, later on, once they got reimbursed for the $4500!!! We put up a stink and they ended up giving us a rental car to drive back to VT in. Now they have our clunker + our new Prius and we have their 2010 Corolla rental. Hoping they give us the new car soon.

    Posted by Kristen July 29, 09 09:11 AM
  1. "I am running into problems with my car as well. I own a 2005 PT Cruiser which i recently found out is listed as an SUV, which is kind of a joke in my opinion, however the gas mileage is right up there, or down there with other SUV's around 19 MPG. I am a little frustrated.... "

    This program never had your car in mind, nor should it. It's just under 5 years old. The fact that you have a car which makes you unhappy despite having listed specs upfront doesn't make it a clunker. It makes you a bad consumer.
    Obama doesn't have a bailout for that.....yet.

    And by the way, if your MPGs are falling off I'll bet you use the cheapest gas possible and don't keep up with truly regular maintenance. I drove an el-cheapo Saturn SL2 for many years, and got 37 MPG on my mixed driving over all; it was rated 35 MPG HWY/25 MPG CITY. How did I manage this great feat? Shell gasoline and oil changes every 5k miles no matter what.

    Posted by Mark Godin July 29, 09 10:08 AM
  1. AND THE TAXPAYERS CAN AFFORD THIS? REALLY? This is the stupidest waste the Democrats ever thought up. Cannot believe this passed.

    Posted by BoomersRock July 29, 09 04:00 PM
  1. Jeep stinks! Apparently they only made about 2 dozen each of the Compass and Patriot and those were already sold. This is a good program. A few miles per gallon difference will impact things and get the ball rolling. The dealers, however, will lie in any transaction.

    Posted by Mike July 29, 09 08:30 PM
  1. Yes, they should have never adopted this program, and instead sent the billion dollars to expand the AIG bail out pool from $180 billion to $181 billion.

    Posted by LawyerCalhoun July 30, 09 09:25 AM
  1. Has anyone out there that purchased a new car with cash for clunkers actually have their new car. It will be a week tomorrow and I am still waiting for the car dealership to get approval from 22 documents to be uploaded to their website as single documents, not the 22 documents in 1 file..goverment paperwork.

    Posted by Diane Ricardo July 30, 09 02:49 PM
  1. I am wondering the same thing. Has anyone actually gotten their car? I had all the paperwork to the dealership on Saturday and then was told that they would not be scanning the documents until Monday. We came back Monday and filled out all the financing and forms and then were told that we couldn't have our new car until they got reimbursed for the $4500. I keep reading on other websites that the dealers "are on the hook" for these deals. How can this be when they are holding all the new and old cars? I may actually have to make a payment on this car before I ever take delivery of it. Is there any way to get an actual answer?!?!

    Posted by Lesley July 31, 09 12:06 PM
  1. I just traded in my 1996 GMC 1500. I bought a 2009 GMC 1500 with a bigger engine that gets better fuel economy. I got the full $4500. I also traded in my old snow plow at Brake and Clutch in Salem. They gave me a $400.00 credit towards a new plow. I love the new truck!

    Posted by Paul July 31, 09 12:52 PM
  1. I work at a car dealership and this program is a complete joke. There is more holes in this program, its nothing but a complete headache. There is going to be a lot of pissed off people as the government keeps changing the rules. They should have had everything ironed out and informed the dealers and trained us on what to do. What they should of done was give everyone that buys a car a check for $3500 or $4500 if they qualify, that way itd stimulate the economy in two ways. Most people would spend that money on something else too. oh well, thanks obama.

    Posted by kyle July 31, 09 12:54 PM
  1. Dealerships have to present a document showing the 'clunker' was actually crushed before they can attemtp to collect the $4500 reimbursement from the Governement. That is one of the reasons this is being held up so long.

    Posted by Julietalkalot July 31, 09 12:57 PM
  1. We have the same issue with my son's purchase at Quirk Mazda in Quincy.

    Showed up on the first day of the program, signed over the title to his '92 Jeep cherokee, executed loan docs, put down a deposit and were told we could have the car on Monday.

    Monday we get a call that it might take till thursday. Then we get a call that they have no idea how long it will take - but our purchase has been approved by CARS. They have a US govt guarantee, but will not release the car till they get paid? Where is Mass consumer affairs?

    Posted by Angry customers July 31, 09 01:12 PM
  1. How come the federal government can't pump an extra 2 billion back to the states to be used for programs that are being cut. (Education)

    We are giving people a 4500 tax credit for them to buy an automobile that 99% will be bought on credit and people will go further into debt.

    Posted by 42Giants July 31, 09 01:13 PM
  1. I traded in my Jeep yesterday at Herb Chambers for a a new Ford. Everything went totally smooth. What's everyone's problem?

    Posted by Trash July 31, 09 01:19 PM
  1. @ soxfan213

    check the website again. They have a "NEW" mpg calculation and you'll probably qualify.

    My experience: old car qualified, but had trouble finding one (new) that qualified. Ended up buying what will surely be a clunker in 8-10 years. Dealership gave me good clunker-like trade on my old one. much better than I deserved, but they got the sale.

    Posted by Francis July 31, 09 01:23 PM
  1. I had the same problem with the Jeep Patriot that others had. None in stock for 200 miles and the ones they did have were full of options. No base models left. One dealer was charging $1300 over invoice as well. I wish every SUV wasn't $30k...

    Posted by Al July 31, 09 01:23 PM
  1. Didn't really need to but traded in my 1993 Roadmaster estate wagon for a new 09 Chevy Aveo. No issues with paperwork, saw car on Tuesday night and picked up today. Love it!! The car ended up only costing $6800. Can't beat that!

    Posted by Mike July 31, 09 01:29 PM
  1. Wow - everyone is soooo impatient. What do you expect from the Fed Gov't - one day turnaround? Just be glad the Republicans aren't running this program, because a) there would be no program, and b) we'd all be told to wait at the New orleans Convention Center to pick up our cars!

    I don't mind waiting a week or two to get my $4500 (plus the extra $2000 off list price) for the 2009 Nissan Versa I just purchased. The dealer even said he'd shave an extra $100 off if I get hit with the MA sales tax increase. Not bad.

    Posted by mgb1969 July 31, 09 01:31 PM
  1. Well, think about it people - if they misjudged the amount of people jumping on this program, just imagine if they upped the minimum MPG on the trades. Why do the "doom and gloomers" always focus on one side winning and whine that it's not them?? This program benefits many - the car buyer, the car manufacturer and the overall economy - quit finding the negative and try to see the whole picture. Sometimes, its not all about you.

    Posted by Catherine July 31, 09 01:37 PM
  1. You people are sad. The gov't is giving you $4500 and you are whining that it is taking too long. Reminds me of the slobs who complained that the $600 stimulus checks were not enough. Total are a disgrace.....If someone tells me they will take $4500 off the price but I will have to wait a week I would say...I'll wait for a month if you make it $9000

    Posted by nash July 31, 09 02:08 PM
  1. For Diane Ricardo:
    I too bought a Kia Sportage from Quirk this week! However, when they checked the website, my minivan (a definite clunker!) was 1 mpg over the govt limit so I couldn't get the $4500 but they gave me a "trade allowance." I ended up paying $15,000 for the V6 (gulp! please tell me I didn't get too screwed with the price!) and drove off with it that day. However, I wouldn't have minded waiting a week to get the discount ... I hope it comes in very soon for you!!! By the way, I am happy with the Sportage! What did you think of the sales staff?

    Posted by barbsboy July 31, 09 02:11 PM
  1. My deal was awesome. I'd been trying to get a new car instead of my old pickup truck, and this program was perfect for me. I bought a brand new VW GLI (VW had a deal to start this program before the 24th, which was one of the reasons I went with them).

    Posted by Matt July 31, 09 02:20 PM
  1. On Monday, we traded our '98 Honda Passport (rated 17 mpg) for a '09 CRV at Boch Honda. We picked up the car last night. The catch: Boch made us sign a form stating that we would be responsible for the 4500.00 if they weren't reimbursed by the gov't. Last night we heard the reports that the money was gone and tried calling Boch first thing this morning to see if our voucher went through. The sales manager Chris has not returned our many calls. Hmm....

    Posted by TerriSB July 31, 09 02:24 PM
  1. I got a notice in the mail. So I'm qualified because my car is in excellent condition with no payments? So the government wants me to incur debt? No thanks. I'm holding onto my "clunker".

    Posted by boston234 July 31, 09 02:25 PM
  1. I have a 95 lumina, since it was brand new. I still have the original sticker for it. and it says 18 mile per gallon. But, some government rating says it gets 20 miles per gallon . I can tell you right does not get 20 mile per gallon. It probably doesn't even get 16, but cause some government rater says it does, I can't get a good deal on my "clunker". It should be any car, thats over 10 years old OR gets 18 mph or less.

    Posted by Bill July 31, 09 02:54 PM
  1. My experience was awesome. I traded in my 1991 jeep wrangler and bought a 2009 Lexus ES350. I got $3500 towards the cost of my new car and got rid of a headache all in one transaction.

    Posted by paul July 31, 09 03:08 PM
  1. People should read the cash for clunkers website before spouting off ignorant talking points. It is quite clear that to get the full $4500 you need to go from 18 to 28 mpg, As to the poster that wrote "anyone that has a clunker doesn't have the cash in this ecnoomy" You are wrong. They just used up the first allocated billion that means enough people traded their cars in to use up the billion. I traded in my 4 cyl. beat up truck for a hybrid.

    Read the news reports before commenting.

    Posted by budselig July 31, 09 03:40 PM
  1. For all those complaining about impatience and whiners. It isn't a matter of waiting for the deal to go through it is a matter of waiting to see if I am going to be on the hook for the $4500 if the paperwork doesn't go through. The issue is that there is no method or recourse to find out what the status is or if the deal will be approved. If not... I would not have purchased the car that I did at the time that I did so yes, maybe the plan is a bad one if we are making purchases based on government promises.

    Posted by Lesley July 31, 09 03:41 PM
  1. Any one who is taking advantage of this program needs to be patient. All of you who have clunkers are very lucky to get $3500-4500 for a vehicle that is worth $50 in most cases. It could be several weeks before you actually take home your vehicle. Take a deep breath and relax.

    Posted by LOSPEED July 31, 09 03:43 PM
  1. As someone who pays tens of thousand in taxes each year I see this as a refund. Unfortuntely, I have a brain and have never driven a car that gets less than 25 mpgs in my life so I can't take part in the program. Basically some of the saps who have been paying $4 for gas the last few years are getting their money back. Please do me a favor though.....DON"T EVER DRIVE ANOTHER GAS GUZZLING POS AGAIN!!!!! Then maybe I won't be paying $3+ for gas in the future. Enjoy.

    Posted by nash July 31, 09 03:45 PM
  1. I actually am one of the lucky ones who got the 09 Jeep Patriot. Not the limited, just the base model and I paid 13k. I have waited about a week now and still haven't gotten it. My dearlership assured me I wouldn't have to pay the sales tax increase because I already signed the paperwork. They just wont release the car until the get approval from the gov't.

    On the other hand, a friend of mine bought a Honda with CARS and got his the next day without having to sign a waiver. I guess each dealership has their own rules.
    Mine has been dicking me around since last Sunday. According to the website, my 1999 Jeep CHerokee is eligable so I guess that's good. If they try to tell me it's not there is going to be a huge problem!

    Posted by Lydia July 31, 09 03:47 PM
  1. They should not cut it off at 18 MPG. Nothing wrong with sending a 25 MPG clunker to the crusher as long as you buy something with better mileage.

    And they should not have allowed people to buy new cars with such low MPGs, either.

    The rule should be: New car must get minimum average CAFE standard or better (for cars, not trucks or SUVs), and better than old car by at least 1 MPG.

    Posted by Old Poor Richard July 31, 09 04:00 PM
  1. So we reward an ailing, failing business model with: taxpayer dollars.

    Has anyone asked how much of _our_ money is going to end up in the hands of the shareholders? When we see the "bump" in sales (at least until the money runs out) where does that money go? $4500 isn't small change, it is going to be at least 20% of the cost (notice I didn't say "value") of the car. So are we going to skim 20% off the total profit and put it back in our coffers at the end? Or we going to suck it up? I am guessing the later.

    In exchange, can we at LEAST get car dealers to stop talking about "investing" in a car - since a car only depreciates?

    Off to put my head back in the sand...

    Posted by Bret July 31, 09 04:05 PM
  1. Isn't part of this program to get people into cars with better mileage, i.e. reduce oil consumption? Improve enviromental impacts? All these people whining about the government wanting us to incur debt and that are 'keeping my clunker, thank you' are missing the point... this is about getting gas guzzlers off the road. the spread between 18 and 22 mpg is significant... Just on this forum alone people are talking about trading in pickup trucks and cherokees... those are positives for the environment and for our oil useage in general. The economic stimulus is obvious... Nobody's being asked to incur debt, that's a choice. If you don't think you can afford a new car, don't buy one. But those that can and are willing to finance an automobile, which millions of people do, then this has to be looked at as a positive. And this is coming from a Republican.

    Posted by Cole Reamers July 31, 09 04:11 PM
  1. We went to the dealer, negotiated a good price, including the CARS credit and manufacturer's rebates and put the car on hold until the CARS regulations were published on 7/23. By Monday we and the dealer had all the info needed. We picked up the car on Tuesday and I've been telling everyone how great a stimulus program it is. Do your homework, work with a knowledgable dealer and hopefully you'll have as great an experience as we did. Only complaint dealer had was not enough vehicles on his lot to take advantage of program and some "strange" policies in the law, like how they have to disable vehicle - to avoid fraud, I'm sure.
    Be sure to use the "new" EPA mpg ratings as they are more realistic. And the final regs/web FAQ definitely say the money is not taxable income.

    Posted by RetiredDave July 31, 09 04:20 PM
  1. Why not just let consumers spend their money how they choose. Instead of taking taxpayer money and giving it to people for their "clunkers" when they purchase a new car, we should just let people spend that "taxpayer money" on the industries that they choose.

    This is just a free handout to help the automotive industry.

    Posted by YouAreAllMySons July 31, 09 04:21 PM
  1. If you liked this "clunker" program, you're just gonna love the healthcare program the government shoves down our throats!!

    Posted by paulrevere1947 July 31, 09 04:32 PM
  1. this is horrible - my 10 year old clunker doesn't qualify because it's not fuel efficient enough to meet program standards, so the government is punishing me for doing the right thing all along.

    Posted by Nigel July 31, 09 04:46 PM
  1. Another freakin goverment handout. I glad the 50K a year my wife and I pay in taxes is being wasted on usless dead beats and welfare losers.

    Posted by Jackme July 31, 09 04:52 PM
  1. So.... the "Central Planners" in the current administration blow another prediction. The program that was projected to last for 4 MONTHS runs out of money in just 3 1/2 days. Who could have possibly predicted that giving away money would have been so popular????
    Never mind.....our highly intellegent members of Congress are going to fix it......By giving away more money - another 2 BILLION. That should be gone in 7 days...maybe less since anybody who was even considering tradeing thier car will now rush to the dealers before the programm runs out again...... And when it does run out of cash .... car sales will crash. Any Dealer can tell you what happens at the end of a Rebate program.............Nothing.........until the next program

    This is what happens when when people with absolutly NO eperience in the real world try to run the economy.

    Just imagine what will happen when they are in charge of Health caree.

    Posted by Turbo Bob July 31, 09 05:07 PM
  1. #59 I wonder if you'd rethink your self-centered stance if you were fired? Or became disabled? And have you considered that helping out the US auto industry keeps Americans employed?
    I wish I could afford a car payment, right now. I'm driving a '92 Century that gets maybe 15 mpg.

    Posted by Heidi July 31, 09 05:12 PM
  1. So what becomes of all the old clunkers? Landfill or what?

    Posted by AguaCaliente July 31, 09 05:13 PM
  1. Yes, I had my new car set aside in early July, and had sent copies of my verifying documents to the dealer before July 24 so they could look them over. On July 27, we did the formal transaction and I drove home a nice new Volkswagen Jetta TDI diesel.

    Posted by LawyerCalhoun July 31, 09 05:48 PM
  1. This program is a mess. Been wanting to get rid of my car for awhile, but apparently I get 19 mpg on my clunker.

    Check out for more of my opinions...and financial info too.

    Posted by taxaces July 31, 09 08:03 PM
  1. I traded my 1998 Toyota 4runner for a new toyota venza. I did all of the paperwork last week....still no new car and no call back from the dealer-Jafferian Toyota in Haverhill. If they try and hit me with the new sales tax-deal off!!

    Posted by dianne sirard July 31, 09 08:39 PM
  1. What a horror!!! Hundreds of millions of dollars spent by struggling car dealerships in advertisements across the country, counting once again on the government to deliver, only to be left out again, as frustrated consumers grapple the the red tape of another failed attempt by "big brother". I fear for our future, this is how we can expect our government to deliver health care.

    Posted by Brian July 31, 09 10:22 PM
  1. Which dealerships are actually releasing the new cars?

    I have signed a deal and they won't release my car until they too get reimbursed. The kicker is they let me keep my car until then..

    Posted by BitterinBoston July 31, 09 10:42 PM
  1. Posted by Jon Anderson August 1, 09 04:09 AM
  1. #59 : If you pay 50K a year in taxes, you can afford to buy me a car. Generalizing people as deadbeats and welfare losers, cmon. Maybe you should lose your job and health one day, and not take it for granted. The CARS program injected cash into the economy, and it's good to see the dealers busy again. We traded our jeep in last weekend for a new car. Like several other posts, the car was not ready for delivery as I expected. Without a car, the dealer gave me a ride home. Some dealers would have said too bad.

    Posted by jonesroadcaddie August 1, 09 06:35 AM
  1. Interesting to read that people get trucks and SUVs in exchange for their "clunkers." I thought they wanted to increase mileage of the cars on the road....

    Posted by Alex August 1, 09 08:00 AM
  1. Can someone explain to me why if we're trying to stimulate the American economy - the cash for clunkers program can be used to buy foreign cars? We're spending our tax money to help out Japanese car companies - that's nuts. There are numerous gas choices out there from Detroit. Let's help Detroit! If you buy a Japanese car the profit goes to Japan and you are contributing to our problem. There is no way a taxpayer program should be used to buy a foreign car.

    Posted by knighthawk1969 August 1, 09 08:47 AM
  1. The clunkers have thier engines completly immobilzed ( filled with a silacte compand that causes them to "seize" ) then they are sent to the recyler where they are crushed and truned to scrap metal which is then reprocessed to new steel and other componets after any possible useable parts are removed. Very little actaully goes to any land fill.

    The biggest problem that this kind of programm causes is that it sucks all the buyers out of the marketplace and distrorts the market. immedatily after it ends new car sales will crater since all the buyers will have either have bought a car or will wait for the next round on rebates. Happens every time. Not a new problem. Ask any dealer.


    Posted by Bob August 1, 09 10:53 AM
  1. A family member purchased a vehicle, paid for it and took delivery on Wednesday. On Friday the dealership called and tried to bully him into signing a form which would put him on the hook for the $4500 just in case the dealership didn't get reimbursed. Salesman and manager repeatedly lied and tried to claim that it was a government form and that he had to sign it in order for the CARS rebate to be submitted. Seeing as the transaction was already completed, he told them he wasn't interested in signing it, did not agree to any change of terms, and that if they so much as touched his new car he would be calling the police and reporting it stolen.

    Anyone experience similar antics? I just read through a bunch of the reports here of dealers not honoring transactions. DON'T let them dick you around.

    Posted by Joe August 1, 09 07:30 PM
  1. I guess I'm a dissenter, but I think calling a 30mpg car a "gas sipper" is a pathetic joke. And I own one--a 92 Honda Accord that runs great. But there's no way that a 30mpg car is a gas sipper.

    How about the 87 Corolla? Toyota should bring that one back. A great basic car that drove well, had little maintenance costs, and got 45 mpg on the highway, maybe 38 city.

    45 MPG on the highway--*That's* a gas sipper.

    Add some antilock brakes and airbags and you've got a car for the new millennium.

    Posted by Steve in W MA August 1, 09 09:17 PM
  1. I have a 91 Subaru "clunker" with 192k miles that I bought new because of its fuel economy and size (29 mpg highway). That was 17 years ago. I can't trade this car under this program even though I have been responsible for all these years. However my tax dollars will be used to reward folks who have been irresponsible with regard to their past purchases. Is this crazy or what!

    Plus, think about all the people in our country and around the world who need these cars to go to work, start a business, etc., and we are destroying these "clunkers." Are we this wealthy?

    "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." Barack Obama, US President (paraphrased)

    Posted by Stand Firm August 1, 09 09:18 PM
  1. Program worked out great for me. Traded in a 99 Town and Country Mini-van for a Primus. No problem with the deal going through, but had to wait 3 hrs at the dealership while all the paperwork went through. Drove home late Thursday night. We figured out we got about 70 MPG this weekend (lots of backroads). Even scared one of the PanMass bike riders because he didn't know we were behind him!! (Electric motor is pretty darn quiet!)
    Nothing but good niews from me!

    Posted by Jay August 2, 09 10:34 PM
  1. #71. and all others complainging about buying foreign. Part of the profit may go to outside the country but who exactly do you think works putting those cars together at the foreign car plants built on our soil? Does the acronym UAW mean anything to you?

    As to all those posts about having trouble getting your new car... it sounds to me liek you're dealing with some dealers who are pulling shenanegins on you all or you didn't listen to the whole process. You need to go in there and make sure the dealer is up front about exactly what is going to happen. It sounds kind of odd to me. If it's going to be some form of hardship for you to be without your clunker then YOU need to work out a deal with the dealer to either keep you old car till the new one is in/released or get the new car signed over to you before the dealer takes possesion of the clunker. YOU need to be your own advocate here folks. IF the dealers process is goign to cause you some greif be a hard ass and make THEM work for YOU. If they won't budge, go to another dealer. Even if the rebate check is going to them directly THere's still some of your money being used in this transaction.. My opinion is if they're offering the deal then the problem with paperwork and possibly gettign stuck without the rebate is between them and the govt. not you and them.

    paperwork is submitted or get your new car as soon as you sign the old one over

    Posted by Francis August 3, 09 10:14 AM
  1. Seems sketchy to me that you cut a deal, give them your old car and can't leave with your new car until the gov processes your paperwork. I get why they do it but just seems like too many things could go wrong in that time.

    I hope they don't pour that stuff into the engine until the refund is finalized.

    And why would anybody sign a waiver saying your on the hook for the 4500$ if Uncle Sam closes down the program. Isn't that the incentive to do a deal in the first place?

    I see many, many comsumer fraud type situations happening here after all is said and done with this program.

    Maybe Im just too cynical. I don't trust the gov much but I don't trust cars dealerships at ALL.


    Posted by RenDog8 August 3, 09 10:26 AM
  1. Has anyone out there actually been approved by the government?

    Posted by Roger August 3, 09 11:27 AM
  1. I work for a car dealership. We have sent in around 40 deals and haven't heard a word. Is this the same all around the country? Is anyone approved?

    Posted by Roger August 3, 09 12:05 PM
  1. A similar program worked in Germany, Italy, and England. Why not here in the USA?
    Because we are different from the rest. We are the most powerful nation in the world.
    We are the BEST in everything!!!!
    We are Americans!!!

    Posted by Uncle Sams August 3, 09 12:36 PM
  1. not yet for me dealer supposedly put my transaction into the system on Tuesday 7/28 and they haven't heard back on any of them yet. I was there on Friday and they had about 25 new cars in the back lot awaiting approval....crazyness.

    Posted by SPY August 3, 09 01:40 PM
  1. Bought new civic last wednesday, signed over title to clunker and has been on the lot since wednesday, signed all contracts and the car is PAID in FULL through an outside lender on Wednesday last week. Did not sign any waivers, demanding my property. We will see how this goes.

    Posted by Stacy August 3, 09 01:58 PM
  1. I am pretty much the same exact situation as you Stacy, but we didn't give the dealer our clunker yet. We gave them the money through an outside lender as well and still have my clunker in my possesion, the dealer has agreed to deliver my new vehicle after registering it to my house and then drive my clunker back to the dealership...our deal took place last Tuesday the 28th...needless to say, my patience is wearing thin.

    Posted by SPY August 3, 09 02:46 PM
  1. #59 I wonder if you'd rethink your self-centered stance if you were fired? Or became disabled? And have you considered that helping out the US auto industry keeps Americans employed?

    Posted by Heidi July 31, 09 05:12 PM
    My own issue here is that this program does not ONLY help out the "US auto industry", depending on how you define it. It helps out Canada, Mexico, etc too. That's not how it should have been.

    As a corporation, Ford is domicile here in the US yet many of their vehicles are manufactured outside the US. So my tax money could be used to support a US company but not US workers. I don't like this, since I want to help my neighbor before I help some large corporation.

    Then you have Honda, which is domiciled outside the US but manufactures a large number of cars here. Not a perfect solution, but I like this one better. The corporate profits might leave the US, but we get to tax them first and my neighbor gets a job.

    I would have preferred that any Clunkers money had to be used toward a vehicle manufactured in the US, regardless of where the corporation was domiciled.

    So, from my viewpoint:
    Ford Focus from Michigan... yes;
    Ford Fusion from
    Honda Civic...maybe, since they are made in the US but also Canada.
    Honda Accord...yes, since for 2009 model year any sold in the US were exclusively manufactured in the US (thanks to currency exchange strength on the USD).

    Each car's VIN shows the country of manufacture, so tracking would have been easy. This might sound really restrictive, but if taxpayer money is being used then the government had (but ignored) the obligation to ensure that the freebie provided the maximum benefit to the US. That means helping people, not helping corporations.

    Posted by SingleCommuterWithBagel August 3, 09 04:28 PM
  1. My dealership says that they submitted my application to the government through CARS program past Friday, and that they expect a wave of them to be approved and sent back acknowledged. When is the question, nobody seems to know. This dealership will not release sold cards under the program until they get their money from the government. In holding pattern with one car. (Not driving the clunker, what would happen if it needed repair or was involved in an accident before driving it for it's final resting place?)

    Posted by xyzzy August 3, 09 04:29 PM
  1. I always look at the prices in the Globe for the Quirk dealerships. You know, the ons prominently displayed in the paper with catchy low prices? I've been keeping an eye on thier prices for the last 6 months or so. Lo and behold, last week the new ads, which all reference the CARS program, all have prices about $2K more than the were just 2 weeks ago. You can look at the prices for the Jeep Liberty and the Ford Escape, and realize that they want a big cut of that money. How do I get around guys like these? Does Ford have a web-site that I can buy direct from?

    Posted by section77 August 3, 09 05:29 PM
  1. Just think, this is the same government that wants to handle your health insurance.

    Posted by waterfront August 3, 09 10:19 PM
  1. I got a good deal with Dodge Grand caravan....almost 10k off in price including clunkers and other rebates. But the trouble is dealer is not delivering the vehicle till he gets 4500 cash from Govt for the clunker. And he say it may be 1 or 2 weeks till this gets approved in Govt website. Is this is right ? Is everyone waiting to get the Govt process rebates and are delivering the new cars after ?

    Posted by Kris August 4, 09 10:09 AM
  1. I had a great experience with the clunkers program although readers should know that I am writing from St. Louis where I now live. I traded a 1994 GMC Safari Van for a Nissan Versa and was eligible for the $4500 rebate. I checked the rules of the program ahead of time, got my paperwork together (title, proof of insurance for continuous year, and proof of registration for one year) and went to the dealer. I already knew what the base cost of the car was and everything went very smoothly. I think the program is great particularly for people such as myself who, without the rebate, would not have bought a car. The final price of a my new car was $8300. It was finally nice to be able to take advantage of one of the government tax benefits that up until now only seem to be benefiting banks, brokerage firms etc. I am thrilled to have a new car. Not worrying about breaking down all the time or having to rent a car when I wanted to travel more than 100 miles out of town is wonderful. I now have air conditioning (a must in St. Louis), the door locks work, the seats aren't torn and the headlights are not being held in by duct tape. Yes, I am very, very, happy.

    Posted by Terry August 4, 09 10:20 AM
  1. Kris #89-

    Do you have to leave your "clunker" at the dealership during this approval process?

    Just curious.

    Posted by Anonymous August 4, 09 10:53 AM
  1. People seem to forget a significant focus of this program is to reduce our reliance on foreign oil. Taking my old 4x4 off the road for a new gas sipper is good for our country and our future.

    Posted by adam August 4, 09 11:00 AM
  1. Signed all the paperwork on my deal with Quirk VW last Monday 7/27....still waiting for my approval. Unfortunately I have to continue to drive my clunker around because that's the only thing I have....getting nervous that it might not last until this approval comes in. Talked to the dealership again today, and they said they haven't gotten any approvals back yet.

    Posted by Anonymous August 4, 09 11:30 AM
  1. Kris, i'm wait's been a week from today when our paperwork was submitted and still no word back from the gov't on the approval. And to #91, I was able to keep my clunker in my possesion until the gov't approves my paperwork, but others were giving the dealer their clunker and not receiving their new car, not a good situation.

    Posted by waitngforapproval August 4, 09 11:49 AM
  1. 89. My clunker is still with me and riding it. But I'm little low on brakes and don't want to spend for repairing it and so want to get the new one asap.

    Posted by Kris August 4, 09 01:51 PM
  1. #93, I hear ya. I decided to purchase my new car on July 18th but the dealership said had to wait till monday to submit my loan application. Then when Monday rolled around they said I had to wait til the 24th ...finally they were able my cash for clunkers info on the 27th and I'm still waiting on a phone call from the dealership so I can pick up my new car. Meanwhile I had to stop driving my clunker because things keep falling apart on it. I've been riding on my Scooter these past couple days.

    Posted by K August 4, 09 02:15 PM
  1. I put a deposit down on a new car on 7/26. The paperwork was in the system a few days later. Meanwhile I'm still driving my old car. The dealer is not releasing the car until the gov't approves the voucher, and I don't want them to. There are too many stories of people being told they have to bring the new car back because they don't qualify on a technicality. Meanwhile their clunker has been disabled, and they are left without a car and without whatever minimal trade in value they might have had. Others are getting their cars, but only by signing a waiver or paying the voucher upfront to be reimbursed later. I don't want to be the one holding the bag if the gov't doesn't hold up their end of the deal and neither does the dealership, so we both wait until it gets approved.

    Posted by Anonymous August 4, 09 03:51 PM
  1. What's this going to do to the price of used cars?

    Posted by alan August 4, 09 06:49 PM
  1. I bought a car on July 24th, when the C4C supposedly started, but all lingered until Monday July 27th when it officially kicked off. The paperwork was filed last Wednesday (one week ago). Calling dealer every other day to find out when I can pick up the new car. Still driving clunker and trying to be patient. I was told that this large Massachusetts dealer has only turned around 1 deal from all their dealerships so far. Just the gov't paperwork is super slow. They said they are making progress but won't commit to any dates since they really don't know.

    Posted by patience August 4, 09 09:31 PM
  1. What is happening in this country. Why is my government using my tax dollars to benefiet car dealers and car manufacturers, over the interests of the entire automobile repair industry?

    I wonder how all those mechanics, tire dealers etc. feel.

    Posted by racercoup August 5, 09 07:35 AM
  1. So if all these rebates are in a holding pattern, I assume the gov't is using these submissions in the calculation that no money is left for the program. So of the people who are waiting for their new cars, if the dealership comes back with no rebate, will you still buy the new car?

    Posted by Tony August 5, 09 09:47 AM
  1. it took me two weeks to get my new car, but alas, I am going to pick it up today at 3!!! wooohooo!!

    Posted by lovesmynewcar - thanks cash for clunkers! August 5, 09 12:34 PM
  1. Made my deal on July 28, was told to pick up my new car on Friday July 31,On July 31, after driving 22 miles to the dealer(Chrysler) was told the title was lost at closed dealership in NY and replacement title of origin would be sent overnite from INDIA, Due Monday or Tuesday(not told what month or year) Still waiting.

    Posted by Sonny August 6, 09 07:07 AM
  1. You have to go at least 4 or 5 MPG for an upgrade to qualify.

    Anyways, my bad experience is that we traded a 97 Chevy Blazer for a 2010 Prius, drove from VT to Mass to buy the car, arranged it with the dealership and we get there and they wont let us drive the Prius home because they want their money from the GOVT first. So its been almost 2 weeks now and no Prius...but we refused to drive home the old Blazer so they agreed to give us a rental car for free. so i am driving around in that waiting for them to give me my Prius.

    Posted by Kris August 6, 09 09:21 AM
  1. On the home page of, in the Important Things section it says like below.
    "The program requires the scrapping of your eligible trade-in vehicle, and that the dealer disclose to you an estimate of the scrap value of your trade-in. The scrap value, however minimal, will be in addition to the rebate, and not in place of the rebate."
    Does this mean, we should expect the dealer to give this scrap value to us...say 200 bucks min...?
    By the way, if anybody has got their cars after waiting for days/weeks, pls update here. I'm waiting from a week, still no words yet from dealer.

    Posted by Kris August 6, 09 10:11 AM
  1. -- Kris. Aug6, u got rental car free.
    My car dealer here in Mass isn't showing any interest at all in giving me any details. He got little pissed off bcoz I refused to buy all those extra things(extra warrenty, paint protect coat...blah ) that make him money. He even forgot to give me a copy of car purchase papers....and brochures of car.... don't even asked abt it.

    Posted by Krish August 6, 09 10:21 AM
  1. Joe,
    Keep the Infinity until the economy turns around. If it is in good shape, it would be a shame to destroy a working car just to add more personal debt.

    Posted by Roger August 6, 09 01:20 PM
  1. #105 Same here: Deal made on July 29th, no car yet. How long is this going to take? A couple of days I can understand, but not a couple of weeks.

    Posted by Tony August 6, 09 01:35 PM
  1. If your dealer is making you wait, I recommend going to another dealer...they will get paid eventually, they just want their money first....who knows when they'll get paid by the government, so does that mean they're going to make you wait for weeks/months?
    I had a very positive experience in it done in 3 hours. I do think they should increase the rebate for an American car.

    Posted by John in AZ August 6, 09 06:34 PM
  1. I am in the same boat, waiting for the dealer (HONDA GALLERY of READING) to receive their approval. I don't have a problem waiting to receive the car. What I do have a problem with is making a deposit (transaction posted to my cc), paying for extended warranty (transaction posted to my cc), insurance co contacted & new vehicle added to my policy, & the clincher--handing over payment in full & dealer making NO hesitation to protect their investment by depositing $$ into THEIR account. FUNNY, they had no problem taking the money from me while all the time they went through the motions leading me to believe they would be delivering the car after I paid EVERYTHING. Totally mismanaged & unprofessional !!

    Posted by Carol in MA August 6, 09 10:45 PM
  1. Spend some money to fix and keep your Clunker. You will save money in the long run.

    Posted by broncosuzuki August 6, 09 10:58 PM
  1. Anyone dealing with Herb Chambers have any experiences to share? We submitted all the paperwork the day the program started, dealership (Mini) tells us they entered all the paperwork but have received no approvals whatsoever for any rebate they've submitted. Sounds a little fishy to me - I'm wondering if they're just waiting on the actual payments to happen before they release the cars.

    Any other Herb Chambers information out there?

    Posted by I Want my Mini August 7, 09 10:15 AM
  1. John in AZ,
    Did your dealership get he OK code from the government for your clunker that quickly?

    Posted by Tony August 7, 09 10:27 AM
  1. Just to update everyone on my experience with the C4C program. Our paperwork was submitted to the gov't through the dealer back on Wed. July 29th and the dealer got the approval on our clunker on Wed. August 5th. We got our new car the same day. It was a long week and i do think the dealer was in the wrong to hold our new car after all the paperwork went through and we paid them in full for the new car...It was worth the wait though, got a killer deal and got rid of the worry ride..

    Posted by waiting4approval August 7, 09 10:52 AM
  1. I got clunker approved in 1 week. Dealer did work on 31 Jul and got it approved today. Going to get the delivery of the new car.

    Posted by Kris August 7, 09 02:04 PM
  1. Thanks for update $114. I had all my paperwork done on 7/30/09 and still no word. I wonder how many dealerships were slow on the submitting paper work, then rushed it through when word of C4C being suspended came about.

    Posted by Tony August 7, 09 02:45 PM
  1. Just to update everyone - #110
    I got a phone call this morning to inform me that my vehicle would be ready for pickup at 6 pm. Everything went smoothly --- I was pleased! Watch for pictures of my car on an upcoming commercial! Good Luck to everyone who participated in this program. Hopefully the next round of buyers will experience a more positive buying experience.

    Posted by Carol in MA August 7, 09 08:26 PM
  1. #112 - I am dealing with Herb Chambers Honda and it's been a nightmare. They are soo disorganized. I had all my paperwork with me and signed for the car on the 27th of July but they will not release the car until they get reimbursed.
    Then they called me the end of that week to ask for more papers to sign and also that they were missing some document which I had to fax again to them.. So I'm still waiting... waiting.. waiting..

    Posted by bitterinBoston August 7, 09 11:19 PM
  1. dealing with toy0ta in queens new york since the 28th july still waiting dealership will not even return ours calls,

    Posted by Anonymous August 7, 09 11:43 PM
  1. I am having the same experience as #118, #119, #116, #112, #110, #108, #105 etc. Starting to wonder if the issue is mainly with Herb Chambers Honda? Anybody out there with success dealing with them (getting your new car for the clunker)? I called them today, only 1 of 60 processed through CARS (submitted but not yet approved/completed by the government). Another dealership, not Herb Chambers, had over 40 approved recently. Go figure. Is this pure randomness by the government or mishandling by HC?

    Posted by xyzzy August 8, 09 02:35 PM
  1. Signed papperwork Sat Aug 1st, dealer let us keep our clunker in meantime. Dealer called today, said we should be getting new car by Wed Aug 12---Hopefully!

    Posted by Renee August 8, 09 05:39 PM
  1. #120 - UGH!!!! I think Herb Chambers Honda IS the issue. Are you saying only '1' was processed????

    That's soo frustrating because I did my part to be organized and have all my documents in order and EARLY on at the start of the program and they seem to not be able to do their part to help our chances of getting an approval.

    Posted by bitterinBoston August 8, 09 09:22 PM
  1. We purchased a car on July 27. Quirk Mazda took our money and we paid for the car in full and still have not received the vehicle. We did keep our clunker. They never called us to tell us what was going on we had to go back to the dealership and ask. They still have not given us an ETA yet. As of tomorrow it will be two weeks since we purchased the vehicle. Has anyone else received their cars that were purchased at the end of July?

    Posted by Diane August 9, 09 01:18 PM
  1. Be careful everyone. The negotiated deals on the car under the program may be worse for you (or at least not as good as saving $4500) under the program. Bottomline, under cash for clunkers the dealership gets a good deal of that money -- not the buyer. For example, with the Honda dealerships, they are taking the $4500 off MSRP (minus dealer incentive). If you were buying a car outside of the program, an educated buyer would work down from the invoice price (minus dealer incentive). There is usually a 2-3000 difference. So, in other words, you save a bit, but not $4500. If your tradein has any value, you would be a fool to go with Cash for Clunkers. The program intended to be for buyers, is really just as much (if not more) for the dealers. That is what the government doesnt want to tell the taypayers. Also, this confirms what I thought of the car dealers, they are pure scammers. Now, to be somewhat fair, the car dealers are saying that the headaches of the program makes it fair that they get a better profit. My thought is that the headache is not worth 2-3K per car -- which was intended to go to the car purchaser.

    Posted by Max August 9, 09 04:54 PM
  1. #120, #122- I also purchased from Herb Chambers Honda on July 27th (paperwork and everything) and am still waiting. They originally said it would be a few days; but, then they asked me to fill out more paperwork on the 30th. I think they did mess up the paperwork, if I could find a MA Honda dealership that is releasing cars I would terminate the Herb Chambers transaction and move on. It is the dealers decision not to release cars.

    Posted by Notahappycamper August 9, 09 08:21 PM
  1. I'm a little annoyed that the clunkers program consists of putting in a liquid into the crankcase that causes the engine to seize. Now the engine is useless, cannot be recycled for parts to fix other cars and must be scrapped. Now cars that junk dealers would buy and recycle the parts for are less apt to, because the major money maker in the parts recycling is engine parts.

    Posted by Bob August 9, 09 08:29 PM
  1. My "clunker" was a 1986 Nissan 300Z Turbo that has been sitting in my garage for the past two years. I intended to restore it someday, but the husband has been on my case for a long time to get rid of it. I bought it in 1999 from Gambino Ford in Lockport, NY and it was always a great running fun to drive car. I am glad I kept it registered and on my insurance! My hubby confronted me with the $4500 Fed Stimulus CARS program and said I had no excuse to keep what he considered an eyesore in the garage any more. So, got the booster box out and the Nissan started right up. Then went over to the VW Gallery dealership in Norwood, MA and used the CARS Rebate towards a new 2009 VW GTI... No real hassles, everything went smooth and I took delivery on Friday 8/7/2009.

    Posted by Haley Paglia August 10, 09 04:26 AM
  1. #123: I am still waiting for a car from a Quirk dealership as well. My experience has been the same as yours, virtually no communication from the dealership. I left a deposit and had to gather some of the paperwork at home, which I faxed over on the next day. When I left the deposit on 7/26, it was not disclosed to me that they would hold my new car hostage until the government paid them. The dealership never called to let me know if all of the paperwork was in order or that my voucher application was submitted. I had to initiate every communication to check on the status of my transaction, only to learn indirectly that they will not release the new car. It has been more than two weeks now.

    Posted by Anonymous August 10, 09 07:57 AM
  1. Same experience with #112 - Herb Chambers Mini of Boston. I find it hard to believe that they have only received one approval. I wish there was a way to verify for ourselves when everything gets approved.

    Posted by still waiting August 10, 09 08:36 AM
  1. I have the same concerns as most here. I have paid for a car and want it. If the dealership is unable to submit paper work properly, why should I suffer. If I do not get car this week, I will start looking around for another dealership who has the act together regarding paperwork.

    Posted by Tony August 10, 09 11:02 AM
  1. We turned in all paperwork for a Toyota Carolla at Copeland Toyota in Brockton, MA on July 21st. We signed the loan papers and our first payment is due Sept. 3rd. The problem is they have had our clunker since then and we still do not have car. 3 weeks without a car has been extremely difficult. We are frustrated as we not received any information or idea when we may actually get a new car. The only answer we receive is "I'll call you when I hear." Is it too late to cancel the deal? That is what I want to do at this point.

    Posted by Sandra August 10, 09 07:09 PM
  1. #131, same situation as you where I signed the paperwork at Herb Chambers Honda and have an upcoming car payment this month but without the car.

    How can anyone make a car payment on a car that is not even registered in their name yet and that they don't have.
    Does anyone else know anything about this? I would LOVE to cancel too at this point, but not sure because of the signed loan document... :(

    Posted by HondaNightmare August 10, 09 08:00 PM
  1. #131, #132: This seems to be happening all over the country. Read some of the stories over at You would think there would be media coverage about this, but so far no one seems to care. As far as the mainstream media goes, everything is running smoothly with the program save for a few funding hiccups early on. Never mind the fact that *most* participants in the program are not driving around in new cars, and SOME are nearing the point of making payments on it, all while their factory warranty clock ticks away.

    I question the legality of all of this. How can they finance a car in your name which you do not legally own or have access to?

    According to an article I read on the Detroit News website, the dealers are not allowed to force you to sign a waiver shifting the burden to the buyer if the government doesn't come through with the rebate. Yet this is clearly happening all over the country.

    Posted by still_waiting August 11, 09 09:38 AM
  1. Day 14 waiting for (something, anything) from Herb Chambers Mini in Boston.

    We had a great date. I filled out the paperwork. They took it. They were warm, friendly, loving. I thought we had a good thing going.

    Now it seems to be over. He never writes. He never calls. He's too busy chatting up the bright eyed CARS suckers walking in the door.

    I feel used Herb. I thought you loved me.

    Posted by I Want my Mini August 11, 09 02:08 PM
  1. I share everyone's comments on Herb Chambers Mini in Boston. Made the deal on July 25th and the car was paid in full.

    After waiting few days they told me that I could "definitely" pick up the car on August 1st. Then on July 30, they frantically email and call saying they needed additional paper to be signed. This was the same night that C4C ran out of its first $1billion and stopped accepting deals.

    Numerous phone calls since then, they claimed that they have gotten 2 or 3 deals then they claim they have made none. I've been asking for days for a proof that my claim was submitted but they can't tell me the exact date my claims were submitted. Now they claim that I can pay the $3500 to pick up my car early and I can get reimbursed when the government approves my application.
    How can I believe that this isn't some kind of scam? If I give them the $3500, what's to stop them from waiting for the actual approval and eventual check? What's to stop them from tellimg me that my application was not approved. Even worse, what's to stop them from keeping my reimbursement money without telling me.
    I know the government has steep fines for any act of fraudulence for C4C. I am about ready to investigate this with Herb Chambers Mini in Boston. I really find it hard to believe that every other dealership in the country has received a handful of approvals already but Herb Chambers Mini in Boston claim they have not had any. Moreover, despite numbers inquiries, they can not tell me the exact date they submiited my paper work.
    Here I am paying for insurance for a car I don't have and paying insurance for a car I can no longer drive because my registration expired at the end of the month. (They told me to get new plates because it would be cheaper to buy new rather than renew and transfer plates).

    Anyone share my sentiments? Should we all demand from Herb Chambers Mini of Boston, some kind of explanation?

    Posted by Fed_UP August 11, 09 08:40 PM
  1. #133: Finally, somebody reporting it in PA. Think the Boston Globe will take this story considering uproar with the program in this blog? Anyway here is the link to the PA story:

    BTW, first time I get a call without calling the dealer first, they said that I may get the car this week. NOT holding my breath. It'll be 3 weeks by Friday since I started the process. Good luck to all!

    Posted by xyzzy August 11, 09 11:38 PM
  1. Everyone here should tell their dealers to check the latest on the website.

    They are not allow to hold your new car hostage while they wait for payment from the government.

    They are not allow to make you sign a waiver or pay upfront for the rebate.

    You should either be driving your new car home today or reporting your dealer for violating the rules of the program.

    Posted by getting_my_car August 12, 09 07:23 AM
  1. has a new update that says dealers must give you your car.

    Posted by Bart August 12, 09 11:12 AM
  1. I have to make an admentment in that it was Herb Chambers Honda of Boston not Mini.

    Posted by Fed_UP August 12, 09 03:37 PM
  1. #135 - my story is pretty much the same as yours, except I wasn't offered the chance to pick up my car or sign a release. I would contact and Office of Inspector General to report potential fraud. The government's position is clear that the dealers are not supposed to be doing this.

    Posted by still waiting August 12, 09 03:44 PM
  1. #135, #137 my story is IDENTICAL to yours.. I called them yesterday asking what DATE did they submit my application and they can not confirm the date? HOW strange is that???? AND I called this morning and left a voicemail with the sales guy and told him to check out the website because they are now suppose to hand over the car. They have not returned my calls.. I am PISSED! What should have been an exciting time to get a new car has turned soo sour because of this, especially THIS dealership. They are operating way too shady!!!

    Posted by holy crap August 12, 09 06:59 PM
  1. Called Herb Chambers about the updates on I told them they had to release my new car. They claimed ignorance and told me to wait few more days. Filed them for fraudulence.

    Posted by Fed_UP August 12, 09 07:01 PM
  1. So, us too...Herb Chambers Boston Honda....when I was signing the deal I was told 3 days, after I signed the purchase and sales I was told it could take up to 10 days. I called today at day 7 after reading on the the website:


    The GM said that they were a private business and the govt couldn''t tell them what to do. I pointed out that they had agree to participate in the govt program so they are obliged to follow the rules. He basically said if I didn;t like it I could take my business elsewhere. NICE! I called the hotline to complain and they said they would help me to resolve the problem, someone should get back to me in the next two days. Meanwhile, like many of you i have a car payment due on Friday...that is just not right.

    Posted by Waiting too August 12, 09 07:06 PM
  1. Both Watertown and Stoneham Ford are hloding cars as well. The government should make them release the cars!!!

    Posted by T-ed Off August 12, 09 07:45 PM
  1. Calling dealer today as they seem to have mis-handled many of the steps in the program. According to, if the dealer has the car in stock, they must give you the new car now, take your old car, crush it, and then they get their money. We aren't supposed to be waiting to take delivery.
    Also, they can't make us sign a document saying we'll pay it back if declined (not our problem).
    And, they must provide a written estimate of scrap value which we get minus $50.

    Posted by AlongTheShore August 13, 09 09:36 AM
  1. Herb Chambers is working hard to turn what could have been a smooth experience into a completely frustrating exercise. With a little more communication (and honesty) I would have been fine with the delays. With the lack of retuned calls, ignored emails and now - based on the clarification on - complete lack of adherence to the rules - it's over. I'll complete the deal with them if it happens in the next few days. But - the Mercedes my wife is looking to replace and my BMW coming off lease will absolutely be going to another dealer.

    I haven't seen sleaze and incompetence like this from an auto dealer in 20 years.

    Great job Herb. Last you'll see of me.

    Posted by I Want my Mini August 13, 09 11:31 AM
  1. Time to complain about Herb Chambers to to program - but I can't find a way to do it. Got through the toll free number - but doesn't seem to be a fraud/problem reporting alternative. Any ideas?

    Posted by Herb is Making Me Sad August 13, 09 11:43 AM
  1. #140, #141, I am eager to hear what they ( hotline) will come back to you with because I'm also waiting on a car at the exact dealership.
    I'm very troubled by their unprofessionalism througout this process.

    And the fact they think they are exempt because the GM told you they are a private business? HELLO?!?!? They are participating in a program where the GOV'T is going to give them MONEY!!!!

    Posted by holy crap August 13, 09 11:55 AM
  1. I am #123. We just received a call from Quirk and they told us we could pick up the car. Funny how they are releasing cars now that the website says they can not hold on to them. We have to call and make an appt to pick up the car since they are releasing so many at once. You all should be calls soon.

    Posted by Diane August 13, 09 12:50 PM
  1. I am very frustated as are all of you that have not yet received your new car. I called the dealer (Herb Chambers) today to let them know exactly what #141 said that CARS program requires dealer to release a car if it's on the lot. They told me that they heard about it but would not release the car without it being fully funded because the dealership as an aggreement with the bank. Look, Congress funds it so they will get their money but I guess they rather let the consumer hang while they wait out the process with CARS to be completion. I called the hotline and told them my story; I reported the dealership (name, address and phone number). So for now in a holding pattern. One thing that is certain, I WILL NEVER AGAIN DEAL WITH HERB CHAMBERS - customer service is awful and so is how they have handled the CARS program. I will need another car in a few years - like most commuters we have 2 and will shop elsewhere. (Bought 3 cars from them in the last 10 years).

    Posted by MadasHellandWillNOTtakeITandMore August 13, 09 05:31 PM
  1. So, I have tried multiple times to find out from Herb Chambers the exact date that they've submitted my cash for clunkers application. Everytime I've tried they've told me that they don't have that information and the "office" has the information. I bought my car on July 25th. When I bought my car, they told me that they would submit my application and I should be receiving my car within 10 days of the transaction submission. Recounting the events that have transpired, my firm belief is that they did not submit the application until couple weeks after the purchase.

    First, they were late in getting authorization to make C4C deals because they were not listed as one of the participating dealers on when the list first came out on July 27th or later.

    Second, where there was fear that the money had ran out, I believe they stopped submitting applications.

    They can make all the fuss about not releasing my car but they have cashed in over $21000 of my money for the past 2+ wks and I am left hanging paying for insurance and payments for a car that i don't possess and paying for cab rides to work because I work too early for public transportation. They can complain all they want about the $3500/$4500 they have not received from the government but they are sitting on my $20K+ and I am losing money each day.

    They's assuming most poeple will not go through the hassle of cancelling the original purchase and going to another dealer to start this whole process again.

    I urge everyone to call and call the office of inspector general. I really hope that Herb Chambers get a huge fraud fine.

    One more thing, they never gave me an estimate for my clunker when it gets trashed. I'm assuming they plan to keep the price they get paid.

    Posted by Fed_UP August 13, 09 08:36 PM
  1. I have just heard back from my dealership and after quoting all of the information currently on, have given me a delivery schedule for Saturday. So, at I am now seeing movement. Stay on your dealership managers and not the salesperson. Continue to quote the government website and that the NHSTA wants to know what dealers aren't playing by the rules.
    Bottom line is that if a dealership has filled out the paperwork and has sent in for the voucher while you retain your car has committed fraud against the government. Continue that line of reasoning ...

    Posted by AlongTheShore August 13, 09 08:55 PM
  1. One word: Hank Phillippi Ryan (ok 3 words).

    I think maybe she would be interested in this story re: Herb Chambers Honda Boston so that she can expose them for the fraud they are committing.

    Posted by jane August 14, 09 09:55 AM
  1. How does the scrap value payment work? Do you get the check in the mail later on? Or does the dealership have to give it to you when you drop off your old car?

    Posted by Anonymous August 14, 09 12:38 PM
  1. Just talked with Herb Chambers Mini and got the straight story for once. Here it is: We're not releasing cars until we get approval. Yes, we know what the website says. Decision is being made higher up the food chain. Nothing I can do about it.

    Amazing. They're still featuring the CARS program on their home page while flat out admitting they're not going to follow the rules.

    All very polite - but in the end a flat admission that they don't care to follow the rules. Don't believe they apply to them. Tough luck. You'll have to wait like everyone else.

    At least I know where I stand. Screwed.

    Posted by I Want my Mini August 14, 09 01:04 PM
  1. Same problem with a New Jersy car dealer. The owner fo the company told me that NADA was seeking an injunction because NHTSA doesn't have the authority to force him to deliver the new car to me. They are the gov't, they can tell you what to do! I think the dealers are simpling stalling as long as possible to get their money. I will never buy a Ford product again, nor will I ever go to Ditschman Ford in Flemington NJ for anything every again!!!!

    Posted by Heath August 14, 09 01:43 PM
  1. I am happy to report that our dealer delivered our car to us today. So, at least for us, Cash for Clunkers worked. Good luck to all. Continue to reference the process and rules and continue to remind them the NHTSA really is a government agency and that your dealer AGREED to the plan when they signed on as a CARS dealer. PS: don't forget your scrap value which should be part of the deal . The scrap value is yours minus $50.

    Posted by AlongTheShore August 15, 09 09:27 PM
  1. Bought a new car on July 31st as part of the cash for clunkers program. 2 weeks later I'm still driving around my clunker while I wait for the dealership to receive the check from the govt. (They won't release the car until they get their money from the govt).

    Posted by John August 15, 09 10:07 PM
  1. re: #157
    Did you get money for the scrap value? What vehicle and how much?

    re: #158
    Did you inform dealership of rules posted on web site or call the Gov't 800 number?

    Posted by Tony August 16, 09 08:01 PM
  1. Bought from Herb Chambers Honda Westboro on July 29th. I was then asked to come back on the 30th and sign my title and hand it over. I asked if this meant that they now own my clunker they said no. I called on the 12th to recite the info about releasing the vehicle to the sales manager. He said that they are not going to release the vehicle until they receive their money from the govt. He gave two options cancel the deal or be patient and wait. I am now considering calling other Honda dealerships and seeing if they can earn my business. FRUSTRATING!

    Posted by Hot in metrowest August 16, 09 09:52 PM
  1. And yet another Herb Chambers Honda problem...I bought a car from them and waited 2 weeks to hear about being approved. They said they haven't had any approvals since the first one they submitted when the program began. They would not release the car even after they cashed my check and were sitting on my money. I called the CARS program several times regarding their practices. I ultimately cancelled the deal with Herb. I think there is something fraudulent with their dealers.

    Posted by Out of Patience August 16, 09 10:55 PM
  1. re: 161

    How can they have no approvals since the first one was submitted? I am reading many dealerships have had the approvals go through though no as fast as they would hope. Sounds like Herb Chambers and others have no clue on this CARS program. I know the program is slow, but I am beginning to believe many of these dealerships are part of the problem.

    Posted by Tony August 17, 09 11:07 AM
  1. I received my car this weekend and when I mentioned the scrap value for my clunker they said it was going to cost them money to scrap my clunker and there is no value. I think they are wrong and I am waiting to see what happens. I think I have a check coming.

    Has anyone received any scrap value checks from the dealerships yet? I could not even get an estimated scrap value from the dealership. They acted like I was trying to cheat them out of money.

    Posted by Diane August 17, 09 12:28 PM
  1. This Herb Chambers place needs ALL of you and I mean ALL to take them to small claims court AFTER you pick your cars up. If They have had your car for almost a month since you made the deal it has to be worth less than when you bought it. It may only be worth $200 to $400 less but it is worth less. The government told tehm to give you your car, they didn't, they violated the law. As a result the auto you bought for $16000 or $17000 is prolly worth $15600 or $16600 a month later. If will cost you $11 to file the claim, it is a very simple one page form, you can do it through the mail. Six to eight weeks later you'll have that dealer.

    Posted by Allen August 17, 09 07:14 PM
  1. six to eight weeks later you'll have that dealer in court on your turf. The judge will award you your $200 to $400, go out for dinner and know that in the end you took some of their profit.

    Posted by allen August 17, 09 07:16 PM
  1. So does the Gov't do anything with these dealerships holding cars hostage?
    Anything from calling 800 number?

    Posted by Tony August 18, 09 02:29 PM
  1. Note that site now seems to have backed off on the requirement that the dealer deliver the car before approval. While I'm seriously pissed at my dealer for basic sleaziness and poor communications - I'm starting to feel their pain at the sloppiness in administering the program.

    Posted by I Want My Mini August 18, 09 04:58 PM
  1. The statements requiring the dealer to deliver your new vehicle right away have been mysteriously removed from the website. Go see for yourself. It seems that Herb Chambers has won this round.

    Posted by noname August 18, 09 05:05 PM
  1. Going in tomorrow to cancel my purchase with Herb Chambers. Hopefully, getting my money back will not be as frustrating as this C4C program. Waiting 3 weeks since the purchase date is enough. After asking about 10 separate occasions, they still refuse to tell me the date that they submitted my application. They claimed today that they only heard back on one application and it was a rejection due to clerical errors. The frustration and time wasted on this ridiculous program is not repayable. I would pass on the clunker money just to make sure Herb Chambers does not get my business.

    I encourage everyone else likewise, because they're probably waiting for the money to run out from the program so that they can trap you into paying out of pocket. Thanks to this stupid program, I'm going to have to pay even more for a new car else due to inflated prices. WIll see what happens when 2010 models come out.

    Posted by Fed_UP August 18, 09 07:19 PM
  1. No Herb Chambers did not win! They actually put it back:
    We’ve heard that dealers are asking consumers to sign agreements with contingencies when they participate in the CARS program.


    We’ve also heard that dealers are asking consumers to keep their “clunker” until the deal is approved by NHTSA.


    Posted by jane August 18, 09 07:26 PM
  1. AND.. the dealer site is stating this now:
    WHAT NHTSA TOLD CONSUMERS (Information posted on

    We’ve heard that dealers are asking consumers to sign agreements with contingencies when they participate in the CARS program.


    We’ve also heard that dealers are asking consumers to keep their “clunker” until the deal is approved by NHTSA.


    Posted by jane August 18, 09 07:27 PM
  1. the 800 number is worthless. I spoke to someone today and she recommended that I be patient. She could not answer any basic questions about the CARS program. She also acknowledged that she was only a hired contractor taking complaints. There are no official NHTSA representatives taking complaints directly. Who knows if they are even getting them.

    Posted by still waiting August 18, 09 08:24 PM
  1. re: 172
    That is what I expected from 800 number. Well help might be on it's way.

    Posted by Tony August 18, 09 10:31 PM
  1. I provided the NHTSA information 4 days ago about the dealer who has kept my new car on the lot and refused to deliver it. I think there is a case here to be won in court if the dealer does not comply. NHTSA said that my case will be taken to the next level - I should hear back in 3 days. Not holding my breath but sooner or later I would think there is a case to be won for consumers who are dealing with these folks. Working on plan B as well, which is based on the reality that I cannot wait forever to see this thing resolve, buying a car and it has never been so hard. Will also never deal with any large dealership like Herb Chambers who have their own army of lawyers. What is the poor consumer to do?

  1. #169, I'm at 23 days and no car either at Herb Chambers. I'm thinking I'm going to cancel too. I'm tired of waiting and if they have not done their job correctly to ensure the application was submitted without errors etc, then WHY would I want to waste another 3 weeks or so if they have to resubmit mine?

    Will they give you all your money back? If they do, I'm happy to find a used car after this whole ordeal. The whole car buying process has lost its appeal and I don't even WANT this stupid car anymore....

    Posted by bitterinBoston August 19, 09 08:56 AM
  1. We are at 22 days and NOTHING -- no calls (communication) from Herb Chambers Burlington! Called several times only to get a big run around. Left many messages for sales manager and no return calls. So far, this program has failed miserably. Still no car and still no information. Wishing we purchased the car over July 4th weekend and would not have had to partake in this mess.

    Has anyone received a C4C car from Herb Chambers Burlington?

    Posted by running very low on patience August 19, 09 11:21 AM
  1. re: 169

    So were you able to get all money back and cancel deal? Did you go to a better dealership?

    Posted by Tony August 19, 09 04:32 PM
  1. I agree with you completely "running very low on patience" and "bitterinBoston" (#174/175) I knew dealing with car dealers is an unpleasant process but this was beyond any nightmare I could have expected. This is my first time purchasing a car on my own too. I've filed a claim with Better Business Bureau. I've tried calling Office of Inspector General without any call back. is completely useless. No one can tell me when my application was submitted: Herb Chambers refuses to give me this information despite numerous times I've asked the sale manager. My sales person keeps on giving me giving me different dates for application summision date and I can't trust anything he says.

    I was not able to stop by today because of unexpected work reasons but I found out that cancelling the car deal will be another headache because I would have to pay for the interest accrued on my finance loan and I would have to reapply for another loan if I decide to go elsewhere to purchase a different car. I feel trapped by this stupid situation. I detest Herb Chambers for false expectations and failure to comply with the rule for cash for clunkers and feel exasperated by the government for their inefficiency.

    Hopefully, Better Business Bureau can help because no one seems to have a clue what to do and I cannot wait another 3 wks waiting for a resolution.

    Posted by Fed_UP August 19, 09 07:49 PM
  1. The real issue is that Herb Chambers and other dealerships are not following the rules of the CARS program. The media today had many reports about the poor frustrated dealers all waiting for their money. What a joke - they have the new cars still on the lot without delivery to the customer, they have the customer's security deposit. We the customer will be left holding the bag. We were supposed get our new car as soon as the deal was signed and before it was submitted to the government. The dealers in the mean time "use" the CARS program to their advantage and stuff in as many sales as possible knowing full well that they're on the hook for nothing and that the customer will still pay, if the rebate never comes.

    Posted by xyzzy August 19, 09 11:58 PM
  1. I'd suggest continuing to generate a major stink with any Chambers dealership. Call headquarters. Insist on working your way up the food chain from the plankton on the sales floor. Get managers names and harass them. Send emails. Pull up the business registration and start lobbing calls into the CFO.

    Worked for me. Picked the car up yesterday because I got on "the list". No word on approvals - just come on in and pick it up.

    Posted by I Want My Mini August 20, 09 02:42 PM
  1. #179 - which HC Dealership were you dealing with? Do you have the number to HQ? Did you talk to them before they finally gave what you desire (congrats!!!).
    Have the number for the CFO?


    Posted by xyzzy August 20, 09 05:53 PM
  1. This was a fantastic program.........for the foreign auto makers. Way to go U.S. gov't!!! Next time, try stipulating that the rebate only applies if you purchase AMERICAN!!! I thought we were trying to put people back to work in this country?

    Posted by donnievegas August 20, 09 06:44 PM
  1. RE: 159, this is 157.
    As yet, we do not have an agreement on scrap value. After 3 weeks on this topic, they are trying to tell me it has a value of $1.

    Of course, they and I know that is bogus. We have an interesting situation with them and when it is all resolved, I can enlighten better.

    Suffice it to say, I've insisted on legitimate scrap value and the discussion is ongoing. There has been no hardline by them or I to date.

    Posted by alongtheshore August 20, 09 06:55 PM
  1. Any new information from anyone? The Gov't is suppose to have more people approving applications by the end of this week.

    Posted by Tony August 21, 09 08:59 AM
  1. I've been told definitively that we will NOT receive any value or compensation for the scrap. Quirk Kia is refusing to budge on this quite frankly it is very upsetting. Our only recourse will be the NHTSA and the Attorney Generals office of which those calls are being made today. Its a shame that this has to be this way given the rules were pretty clear on this.

    Posted by AlongTheShore August 21, 09 09:40 AM
  1. Quirk wouldn't give me any scrap value as well. They said something about having to pay the scrap yard to take the vehicle away. There are a lot of usable parts still left on these vehicles. Someone is making a bunch of money on this.

    Posted by noscrap August 21, 09 10:26 AM
  1. RE: 185. Help each other out. BBB and State Attorney Generals Office. You can do it all online and I have already done that. I'm sure the buyers of cars at Herb Chambers can join in and create some consumer power here.
    I don't think we are acting like spoiled children here. There was a posted process which dealers agreed to so that they could participate in the sales. Now, the dealers aren't following process and we the consumers are supposed to be so happy with out deal that we'll take what they give us. I don't think so.

    Posted by AlongTheShore August 21, 09 11:09 AM
  1. Wow! Lots of information here. I actually purchased a new Altima on the 23rd of July. The dealer insisted that I take the new car off the lot. I left my '99 Jeep Cherokee (180k miles with some damage) clunker with them. Now they tell me the registration was lapsed for three months in 2008 (May-July). I gave them my last 7 registration cards for the past 84 months. They also got the clear title in my name for the last 7 years. My insurance company printed out the last years insurance form and everything seemed to be a go. Apparently, someone in the Florida DMV office lost my paperwork which caused the 3 month lapse. Now even though it was outside of my control, I am at fault along with the dealer for not verifying the paperwork closer. I've driven the car for about 1800 miles, but told the dealer I'd be happy to bring them the car back to cancel the deal as long as they still have my clunker to drive back with me. I believe my car is still sitting on their back lot. The dealer has yet to cash my bank financed check which expires 6 September. Now the dealer wants me to sign another bill of sale adding on the $4500 and I want the dealer to either take the car back (cancel deal) or bite the loss and either keep my beat up old Jeep or let me get it back. The Jeep has about $3500 in good parts to sell on ebay at the least. Also, I never signed a form requiring responsibility of the $4500 if the clunkers deal did not go through. Any suggestions.

    Posted by Brock August 22, 09 08:19 AM
  1. That's the deal guys! 35 or 45 hundred for the car! No more! Stop obsessing about the "scrap value " ya chisselers! Stop worrying about "usable parts". The price is set in stone. Take it or leave it.

    Posted by section77 August 22, 09 10:20 AM
  1. Just curious, between the holding our new cars hostage for weeks and the refusal to provide us with scrap estimates and scrap value, does anyone think we might have a good case for class action. These dealers don't seem to give a crap about our $150-$250 in scrap that is rightfully ours.

    Posted by AlongTheShore August 22, 09 10:58 AM
  1. Thanks to everyone here, we were able to use some of your comments to write a more complete story in today's Globe and a breaking news report on Thursday. Your comments have been invaluable.

    Posted by Clifford Atiyeh August 22, 09 11:32 AM
  1. I used the cash for clunkers to get a new car and paid the difference of about $30k in cash. The dealer took the money but has been refusing to give me the car saying he is going to wait for the govt money. Though it is against the law, dealer has to give me the car after the paperwork. It is stated of the website as well as a call to the consumer hotline confirmed it. He has my money for over a month and he has flatly told me that he will not give me the car till he get approval from the govt. This is a reputed big dealership.

    What are the options available to me?

    Posted by UpsetConsumer August 25, 09 12:09 PM
  1. Hello Clifford Atiyeh (191),

    I am seeing so many issues with Herb Chambers. Can Globe write a story on Sunday's newspaper? I have gave Herb Chambers more than 30,000 for but it is not releasing the car as the sales person is saying that it is waiting for 3500 from the government.

    Maybe if Globe write a story in Sunday's newspaper, things will get better.


    Posted by Ching Tan August 25, 09 02:00 PM
  1. So where are the Gov't approvals since they have increased the staff. These dealerships are holding our money and we have nothing to show. should have kept money in the bank and got a few dollars in interest.

    Posted by Tony August 26, 09 11:33 AM
  1. Deal submitted on 7/28 and thought I would have the new car by Sept. worst case. Now I am thinking Halloween.

    Posted by boo August 27, 09 06:51 AM
  1. re: 195
    Same boat, mine was submitted 7/29 and nothing yet. Very frustrating.

    Posted by Tony August 27, 09 12:52 PM
  1. I am also stung by Herb Chambers Toyota. They took all the money but refusing to deliver the car. I was not told of this trick when I was purchasing the car.

    The sales person was not updating me but then he finally told me that it is the corporate policy and you (consumer) can't do anything (cause they are too strong).

    We may still not get the car but we can try to give Herb Chambers some free publicity on TV.

    Posted by cheatedbyHC August 27, 09 01:53 PM
  1. Dealer fines? A federal official says that procedure violates the Cash for Clunkers rules, and that any dealer who does that could be subject to fines as high as $15,000 per transaction.

    The dealer “is supposed to take possession of the trade-in at the time of the transaction” and disable it, said Karen Aldana, spokeswoman for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in Washington. “(And) if a dealer has a new car in stock, the dealer must allow you to take possession of the new car.”

    Posted by i want my car August 27, 09 02:27 PM
  1. The problem is that the rule stating that the dealer must deliver the new vehicle right away was not explicitly stated in the law. The NHTSA only added that to the web page after the program was underway for two weeks. The dealer associations are claiming that the NHTSA does not have the authority to force the dealers to release cars. They may be correct on this point, but by the time we know for sure, most of you will have your new cars.

    What is more concerning is the fact that the dealers are cashing $20,000+ checks, arranging financing, and setting up insurance for cars that sit on their lots like hostages. Is this legal? While I understand that the dealers are not getting their $4500 in a timely fashion, what about all of the consumers who shelled out $20k or are making loan and insurance payments on a car they do not own? Where is the Globe story on that?

    Posted by no car for you August 27, 09 03:53 PM
  1. While I am glad that I finally picked up my car, I still see that people are still stung by the dealers refusing to release the new cars and people are making payments for car insurance and car payments.

    I was in the same boat. Without explanation and without having heard from the government the car dealer finally released my car. I contacted the better business bureau and the inspector general. The inspector general gave me no response. is totally useless. Hours spent waiting on their phoneline with clueless workers who only "take information." But, the day after i picked up my car, I got an email from better business bureau that the complaint has been resolved. It did take about a week after the complaint was submitted.

    I'm not sure if that's the answer, but I hope it helps. I am grateful that I got finally picked up the car but still angry about the four weeks I waited. After refusing to release the car for weeks and after innumerable phone calls, they relented. No paper work. We just exchanged cars as if I had made the purchase.

    Good luck everyone.

    Posted by Fed_UP August 27, 09 05:38 PM
  1. #200: I just submitted my compliant to BBB as per your suggestion. I've been waiting since 7/31, thank you for your post.

    In the meantime, the dealership says the approvals are still slim, only 1 yesterday.

    Posted by xyzzy August 28, 09 12:02 AM
  1. Yes, I turned in my 'clunker' '92 astro (16mpg) and picked up a new HHR SS, (29 mpg) ( dealer had to order it from another car lot ) - yes I had to wait a few days -So What, I see flaws in the program - some people are turning in cars better than what some people have - Some one should be able to turn some of those GOOD cars around and let other people use them - I heard someone in cleveland turned in a Bi-turbo Maerati w/ only 38000 miles - what a shame to destoy a collector like that !!

    Posted by Mark Phillips August 28, 09 09:29 AM
  1. Nope this program isn't worth it if you are the one squeezed in the middle of the government who hasn't paid yet and the dealer who won't give you a new car you purchased a month ago!

    At this point of frustration with Herb Chambers, I would have rather have purchased a car over 4th of July with some incentives and take a couple thousand dollar hit and drive off with the car, too much wasted time and time is money.

    They have us over a barrel with the title to the clunker and no answers as to when we can drive off with the new car. What a joke. SO many inconsistencies with this program.

    Posted by sandwich August 28, 09 12:51 PM
  1. Anyone else have any luck calling CARS or using BBB? I just want my car.

    Posted by Tony August 28, 09 03:58 PM
  1. Ernie Boch let all the new cars go, great customer service there. Unfortunately we picked Herb Chambers Honda and still sitting here waiting and waiting and only thing we can choose to do is wait or cancel.

    Posted by Ellie August 28, 09 04:33 PM
  1. #205-I tried canceling with Herb Chambers Honda and going to another dealership. They said no problem canceling the transaction but I would not get my money returned or title (from the trade in) until they had received an 'Approval' from the NHTSA so they could terminate the transaction. I purchased my vehicle on the first day (July 27th) and they deposited my checks the next day. I have found Herb Chambers to be an unscrupulous dealership and I hope they do get fined $15,000 per violation of not releasing cars it is just not going to help us right now.

    Posted by Not a happy camper August 29, 09 03:24 PM
  1. #206 -- Bill from Herb Chambers in Burlington said no problem to cancel, and to just come down and pick up clunker title? He never said anything about having the approval go through first. Another inconsistency there. Supposedly DOT said they would have all rebates paid within a month. Yep and they also started off with stating 10 days.

    Posted by ellie August 30, 09 09:51 AM
  1. #207. So how do you "pick up the title" since the rules / process for your dealer was to clearly WRITE across your title that the car/truck.
    On page 11 of this ammendment on

    Prior to submitting an application for reimbursement under § 599.302, legibly mark the front and back of the trade-in vehicle’s title in prominent letters that do not obscure the owner’s name, VIN, or other writing as follows: “Junk Automobile,”

    Posted by alongtheshore August 30, 09 02:35 PM
  1. I bought my car on July 27, @ Rochester Toyota in NH. The deal has been kicked back twice for missing paperwork first missing Title, then unreadable copies, last kick back 5 days ago. still waiting the dealer wont release the new car till they get appoval. It sucks, but I dont want to make waves cuz I may need dealer work later. I Know my deal is good and according to what I have read the deal will be honered for regected deals with application errors.

    Posted by sparky August 31, 09 09:15 AM
  1. re: 209

    How did you get all the deatils? I wish you could look up the transaction information on the CARS website. So the dealership screwed up with the paperwork and you have to suffer for it? I wonder is the same thing is happening with mine and others.

    Posted by Tony August 31, 09 09:42 AM
  1. #208 - Interesting, I didn't pick up my title and doubt they would have given it back had I went to pick it up. Was thinking of scrapping the whole deal, but I think I have too much time invested in it at this point. So just getting tired of hearing about all the people that drove off in their cars.

    Posted by Ellie August 31, 09 03:58 PM
  1. #205

    Similar Story, did not go to Ernie Boch because I was lazy. It is 10 mile away and decided on Herb Chambers. Gave all the money and stuck with them I would have canceled but then I will not get $4500 for C4C. Not just wait ....

    Posted by LazyShopper August 31, 09 09:04 PM
  1. Management at Herb Chambers in Westborough told me that I was the only one complaining and that I just had to be patient. They said they would not be subject to the whims of one consumer (asking for the car that was already paid for) and that the government was wrong in telling consumers they were entitled to their car. I hope the government steps up and hands out the $15,000 fine per transaction that they are promising. If not, I think a class action lawsuit is in order.

    Posted by no more herb September 1, 09 08:55 AM
  1. So with the government adding more people to the approval process, has anyone received the approval finally? If so, when did yours get submitted?

    Posted by Tony September 1, 09 09:07 AM
  1. To 213,

    You're not the only one complaining to Herb in Westboro. I've been on them since July 28th when I handed them payment in full as they assured me I'd have my car in three days. They've been telling me the same thing about how "everyone else" has been so great and patient. I never believed that for a moment. They've had $12000 of my money for a month and I dn't have the car. I haven't heard from my salesman in over three weeks, started dealing with the general manager a couple weeks ago. Today I was told that they are working out a way to get all of us our vehicles and I should be getting a call on the "Herb Chambers plan" details later today. They said there would probably be some papers I'd have to sign in case the approval didn't come through and we'd have to work that out. What incentive would they have to resubmit paperwork again or to wait for government payment if they have a signed document saying the customer would pay the $4500? It is very clear on the CARS website that the dealers can't ask for that type of consideration. What to do?

    Posted by Sick and Tired September 1, 09 02:27 PM
  1. So it's okay for the customer to float $12,000 but not okay for Herb to float $4,500? Why didn't Herb just hold a deposit rather than cash your check?

    Posted by seriously? September 1, 09 05:22 PM
  1. A word of warning for Herb customers... I was called and told that my car was ready to be picked up. I assumed the approval had come through since they did not tell me otherwise. When I got to the dealership, they attempted to make me sign a contingency agreement (to pay them the $4500 if the deal was declined). I refused and insisted on speaking to a manager. I refused again to sign the contingency agreement and so the managers offered for me to sign something saying that I did not commit fraud in the deal (nothing about paying them back). I shouldn't have had to sign anything, but since I did not commit fraud it seemed harmless. DO NOT sign the contingency agreement. They are not legally allowed to ask you to, and they're just trying to screw over their customers. Herb Chambers should go out of business for treating customers this way.

    Posted by no more herb September 1, 09 06:57 PM
  1. re: 217

    What is a form about you not committing fraud for???? Is this new and needed for CARs?

    Posted by Tony September 3, 09 10:09 AM
  1. To #218:

    The fraud thing is not typical (and definitely not required by the government or the CARS program), but it was Herb Chambers' way of getting me to sign *something* since I refused to sign the contingency agreement. It was a few sentences written up by the manager on the spot and basically just said that I did not commit fraud in the transaction (e.g., I didn't fudge my registration or insurance documents). It's sort of ridiculous because when a customer enters into a CARS deal they automatically attest that the documents they are submitting are factual (in a document created by the government that we all signed), so it really doesn't help a dealership to have a customer sign something like that again. I did it as a way to appease the Herb people and get my car, but in reality it doesn't give them anything they didn't already have.

    P.S. According to the site, if a consumer commits fraud (by falsifying documents, etc.), the dealer has the right to seek the money or the car, and the customer can face other sanctions.

    Posted by no more herb September 3, 09 11:54 AM
  1. re: #218

    Herb Chambers is now adding a fraudulent add-on to your forms to use against you if money does not come

    Posted by Tony September 3, 09 02:16 PM
  1. How many time do I need to read about the Gov't going to fix things and I still do not have my car?

    Posted by Tony September 3, 09 02:20 PM
  1. Anyone have a problem with Quirk? We had all our paperwork into Quirk Nissan Aug 17. The called aug 30 and said the deal was rejected. After a little more explaining, the actual truth came it, it wasn't rejected by the gov't, it never made it through the system by the deadline. They are supposedly trying to file an appeal ( told me there is no appeal process if you missed the deadline). I've written to Quirk, called Nissa USA and written to the AG- no one has returned our call with an explanantion yet. When I went to Quirk to get the true story they blamed the gov't computer for being down. All I know is that if my computer is down at work I have to work late. If something was promised and has to get done it has to get done.

    Posted by mad at dealer September 4, 09 04:43 PM
  1. RE:#221. Stay on it. According to the site this isn't your problem (but of course it is since you don't have the car). Quirk was obligated by process to have released the new car to you when you signed. So, you have plenty of evidence that they didn't follow process and should (with a fight) be able to get them to do this.
    When you signed on August 17th, you were done and you completed that transaction in good faith.
    They, on the other hand, did not deal in good faith and chose to ignore the rules that they agreed to when they became a Cash for Clunkers dealer.
    Remember, YOU did not miss the deadline, YOU made your deal on August 17th.
    Curious, what does your title look like now? Did they write on it and make it unusable and nontransferable as they were supposed to?
    My beef with them is over scrap value and I have many of the same arguments. I got my car, but no scrap, so I'm in better shape. Yet, I am still fighting hard for that value as again, they broke the process. BBB has complaints against these dealers and MA Attorney General office has complaints as well, so make sure you get your formal complaints in .
    At some point in time, a class action has got to come out of this. They (the dealers) had their way with us, and held us hostage for what the government said we should have. - - Good Luck and keeps us apprised.

    Posted by alongtheshore September 5, 09 09:15 AM
  1. From, Clunkers find afterlife in Millis.

    So, how is Boch "holding clunkers"? And, here is the proof / admittance that dealers are in fact getting more than the $50 for scrap that is NOT being returned to the consumers!

    "Boch is holding the remaining clunkers in a form of escrow, but like other dealers, before the government’s payment backlog became apparent, he sold many of the old cars to junkyards for $50 to $600."

    Posted by alongtheshore September 6, 09 11:25 AM
  1. I just found this site last night, and was a bit relieved to find that I wasn't the only one feeling screwed by Herb Chambers. We did the C4C paperwork on Aug. 4th with Herb Chambers Honda in Boston, and were told we would have the new car in 7 to 10 days. But since then, we've just been getting the run around from them, saying they are waiting for the government approval before they will release the car. A coworker of mine did her C4C deal with Clair Honda in West Roxbury/Dedham, at the end of the program, and she got her car right away.
    But, I am happy to say, that I got a call from the salesman at Herb Chambers tonight. He says they just have to install the Lojack & Simoniz that we added, and we can pick the car up on Saturday. I asked if the C4C was finally approved by the government, and he said they have decided to just start releasing the cars. So something has worked. Maybe all the complaints to the BBB has got them finally moving.
    Hopefully, everyone else is getting similar calls now & finally getting their cars. Good Luck!

    Posted by Lisa September 9, 09 10:32 PM
  1. Well finally got my car. Not happy with dealership as they had problems with the paperwork and totally not prepared. I did not get a chance to ask about scrap value. Has anyone else gotten any information on this?

    Posted by Tony September 11, 09 10:27 AM
  1. They need to be more efficient with the "clunkers." Would they really dissemble a car like this:

    Posted by jrj073000 September 16, 09 03:43 AM
  1. I just got off the phone with Quirk....again they lied to me- told me my paperwork was never submitted so they are not going to submit anything to the gov't. If anyone else has had a problem with Quirk, PLEASE contact the AG at 617-727-2200....file a complaint. If they didn't have completed paperwork from me, why didn't they tell me before the deadline- because they had it, and now they are trying to show revenge by just ignoring me and the fact that we completed everything. They probably sold the car that I had put a deposit on....hmmm....I have the VIN I was promised, how can I find that info out? Again- if you have had a bad experience with Quirk (I went to Quirk Nissan) please complain to the AG (I complained to the BBB too, but they lied in the response to them said we didn't have the paperwork in on time- again- if we didn't why didn't they call before the 24th...the stories from them are endless).

    Posted by mad at dealer September 30, 09 01:20 PM

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