Here is the full list of 677,081 cars destroyed for cash by clankers

Here is the full list of 677,081 cars destroyed for cash by clankers

Thirteen years ago, Cash For Clunkers offered a unique premise. Help save the nation’s failing auto industry, inject much-needed capital into an economy ravaged by the Great Recession, and replace the aging wheels on America’s roads with more efficient cars. The federal scrap scheme, which destroyed nearly 700,000 allegedly gas-guzzling vehicles, had key criteria: No cars could be 25 years old or older, cars had to get 18 mpg or worse, be roadworthy, and the car had to be eligible for the rebate and scrap value. which would be registered and insured for one consecutive year after purchase.

What’s taken off the roads is expected to have been recycled several times, but the truth is not lost as we’ve dug up a little-known, long-lost detailed account of every car destroyed by CFC. With talk of a new buyout program in Washington to encourage people to switch from internal combustion to electric vehicles, it’s as good a time as any to review what happened the last time we bought out money.

We found the report in the Wayback Machine archives at, the site of the Car Allowance Rebate System, aka Cash For Clunkers. The site has now been offline for more than five years, but a complete record of each of the nearly 700,000 destroyed vehicles remains. While there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth over the CFC claiming several exotics, that coverage was not based on an audited list to remove incorrect entries, duplicates and other errors.

Now we have the final data that gives us an idea of ​​what was destroyed with CFCs, and yes, that includes a lot of cars that will definitely make you cringe. Here are some stories that will get things sorted out with a fine comb, including classic cars, rarities and performance cars that met their fate in that heady 2009. summer days.

But first, here is the complete list of scrapped cars and trucks. We’ve embedded a PDF below, sorted by manufacturer in alphabetical order. We’ve also created a public Google Spreadsheet here in case you’re having trouble with the PDF. Take it all:

I wanted to start with what CFC destroyed the majority. However, this is far from easy due to the formatting of the report. Vehicles are classified by year, make, model and driveline configuration, with individual models divided into multiple entries. Even so, I was able to skim the cream off the top by processing only the top 150. It still gave me a pretty good idea of ​​which cars CFC claims the most. And here they are:

  1. 1995-2003 Ford Explorer/Mercury Mountaineer: 46,676
  2. 1996-2000 Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth Minivans: 23,998
  3. 1993-1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee: 20,844
  4. 1992-1997 Ford F-150: 20,222
  5. 1984-2001 Jeep Cherokee: 18,329
  6. 1988-2002 GM C/K Pickup: 17,202
  7. 1995-2005 Chevrolet Blazer: 15,668
  8. 1999-2003 Ford Windstar: 12,157
  9. 1991-1994 Ford Explorer: 11,612
  10. 1994-2001 Dodge Ram 1500: 8,103
in 2002 Ford Explorer is Cash For Clunkers’ Most Clunked Car Model Ford

While the list is a great cross-section of the most popular cars in the U.S. at the time, these vehicles were the most crushed by popularity alone. They were destroyed because CFCs were intended (at least ostensibly) to increase the fuel efficiency of US drivers’ cars. Neither vehicle tops 18 mpg with the automatic transmission, and they average just 16 mpg overall.

This is almost average everyone CFC conversions are estimated by the Department of Transportation to be 15.8 mpg. Because the CFC operated on a rebate system where dealers received cash for accepting rebate coupons, the federal government was able to track the increase in gas mileage with each sale. In doing so, it found that the average mpg of replacement vehicles under the CFC program was 24.9 mpg, a 58% improvement.

in 1999 Chrysler Town & Country, Cash For Clunkers’ Second Most Crushed Model Chrysler

But while 700,000 vehicles above 9 mpg seems like a lot, the U.S. Energy Information Administration noted that CFCs have not improved the fuel economy of the nation’s motor vehicles. If anything, it captured a boundary decline 2009-2010 The impact of CFCs on the fuel consumption of the US fleet was further reduced by subsequent record years for car sales: from 2010 More than 185 million were sold in the US. Axelwise.

The program’s impact on our gas consumption was ultimately negligible, and that doesn’t take into account the other disadvantages of CFCs. It cost the U.S. government $3 billion, some of which indirectly topped up bailouts for U.S. automakers, though most went overseas. Apocryphally, CFCs have also been blamed for rising used car prices. However, this may be explained by the increased demand for cheap used cars during the recession.

in 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee Orvis Edition, Jeep

Recession is speaking to economists again, prompting proposals for CFC revivals, sometimes for electric car use – the latter has been proposed in DC, according to speculative reports. If the US does indeed enter another recession and a CFC-type program returns, then its proponents need to consider what happened the first time we tried to cash out. not to mention the differences in market conditions between 2009 and 2022. The problem then was demand; It’s available today, and EV CFC could quickly turn into a windfall for car dealers and a few others.

We can speculate on whether CFC achieved what it set out to do, and we will. But the debate is over, and here is the final list.

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