I recently mentioned how the nation’s car dealers are using the federal government’s new Car Allowance Rebate System, a.k.a. “C.A.R.S.,” a.k.a. “cash-for-guzzlers,” as the basis for bait-and-switch selling.
There could be no clearer proof of this flagrant criminality than the above photograph, which today’s online edition of The New York Times is running above a caption reading:
A car was displayed in a dumpster at a dealer in Springfield, Vt., as a promotion for the rebate program, which was said to have exhausted its funds within a week.
Now, that car in the dumpster is a 1990s Toyota Corolla. I can swear from long personal experience that a 1990s Toyota Corolla would take you around town at more than 30 MPG, and approach or exceed 40 MPG on the highway.
That means the car in the dumpster here is massively ineligible as a subsidized trade-in under C.A.R.S., which pays cash only to those trading in old cars getting lower than 18 combined MPG — or roughly 1/2 what that dumpstered Corolla gets. If you bring in a 1991 Corolla thinking you will be eligible for a $3,500 or $4,500 credit toward a new car, you are massively mis-informed.
Nonetheless, there it is, bigger than life, on that car lot, and probably also in its saturation advertising on local TV.
This shameless disinformation speaks triply to the runaway insanity of this market-totalitarian society. At this very late date, our system is:
1) Giving away free money for the purchase of still more iterations of the very commodity that is arguably the greatest single threat to continued human civilization.
2) Junking, not fixing and re-distributing, 1990s Toyota Corollas.
3) Doing less than zero to police the humongous, especially blatant marketing fraud being perpetrated by the nation’s car dealers vis-a-vis “cash-for-clunkers.” How many downward MPG car-swaps will be achieved, as the dealers lure and switch-sell owners of 1990s Corollas? That number, certainly, will not be zero…