The AP finally got its hands on the raw data for claims against the CARS (Cash for Clunkers Program) and some of the deals are eye-raising. Despite it all, the fuel efficiency of trade-ins averaged 15.8 mpg, while the new vehicles averages 24.9 mpg.
The AP has been trying for four months to get the claims data from the administration. And Edmunds and others have been arguing with the administration about the cost and whether it was worth the money.
Some eye-raising stats from the AP analysis.
- Despite the big difference in overall mpg improvement for the program the most common swap made, at over 8,200 times, was an old Ford F-150 for a new Ford F-150. The mpg increase was around 1 to 3 mpg in those trades.
- Thousands more bought new Silverados or Dodge pickups with their trade-ins. In Texas, seven of the 10 most common transactions involved drivers trading old pickups for new ones.
- 677,081 clunker trade-ins cost the taxpayers almost $3 billion to fund. That money went to purchase $15.2 billion dollars in new vehicles at nearly 19,000 dealerships across all of the states.
- Around 95,000 of the new vehicles got less than 20 mpg. That's about one in seven.
- The government is currently investigating $562,500 in rebates that were apparently used to buy new cars that had worse or the same mileage as the trade-ins.
- California had the most deals made with 76 thousand. Texas had 43 thousand (mostly for trucks) and New York saw 37 thousand deals made.
- One dealership had 1,432 sales, worth more than $30 million. The next closest had 672 sales.