Rep. Betty Sutton, D-Ohio, wants to give it a try. She introduced a bill that would offer vehicle owners cash discounts on new, fuel-efficient models if they have their old car crushed or recycled.
Of course, there are plenty of interested parties who would want this bill to give them a nod, but the current incarnation sounds like this: The vehicle being scrapped would have to be at least eight years old, and the new vehicle would need a higher gas mileage rating — 27 mpg on the highway is the lowest qualifying figure for cars, 24 for trucks — with cars with the highest ratings getting the best deals.
Cash vouchers would range from $3,000 all the way up to $7,500, meant for vehicles attaining 100 mpg (this provision targets the Chevy Volt).
There are some problems. First of all, the bill only extends the offer to vehicles that cost less than $35,000, which means the Volt probably wouldn’t be eligible, not to mention some other fuel-efficient vehicles. Secondly, while the offer extends to foreign automakers’ cars built in the U.S., it does not cover vehicles built overseas, so the Toyota Prius — the most fuel-efficient car on the market right now — would not be eligible.
Bill Unveiled to Pay Cash for Trading in Old Clunkers (Detroit Free Press)