Cash For Clunkers popular - and confusing
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08/03/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday | Listen to this entire show:

An Obama administration official said that the average fuel economy of new vehicles purchased thru the Cash for Clunkers Program was 25.4 miles per gallon (mpg), and the average fuel efficiency of the trade ins was 15.8 mpg, representing an over 9 miles per gallon fuel economy increase.

But the future of the popular federal program is in doubt, after it essentially ran out of money just a week into the program. Reacting to that, the House of Representatives approved an additional $2 billion dollars for the program last Friday, but the Senate has yet to act. Two major auto dealer groups were encouraging their member dealerships to bombard the Senate with calls and e-mails.

The program provides consumers with $3,500 or $4,500 in incentives for trading in gas guzzlers for more fuel efficient vehicles. Ford and Suburu reported July's auto sales – for Ford, it was the best month since late 2007.

John Sternal is a spokesman for Lease Trader.com. He acknowledged that there is a lot of confusion about the status of the program, particularly with the auto dealers.

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