WASHINGTON -- Cash-for-guzzler trade-ins that became ineligible for the program under last-minute changes to federal fuel economy standards will still be honored by the government on deals completed on or before Friday, July 24, a U.S. spokesman said.
Deals completed after last Friday will not be honored if the old cars didnt meet the revised EPA standards, Transportation Department spokesman Rae Tyson said today.
Weve tried to come up with the fairest possible solution under the circumstances, Tyson said in an interview.
The details of the governments decision will be posted on its www.cars.gov Web site, he said.
The uncertainty over the change in EPA standards has been one of several problems besetting the vehicle sales incentive program. Late Thursday, numerous reports emerged that the government would suspend the program because of concerns it already has reached its $1 billion funding limit.
The EPA, to comply with the cash-for-guzzlers legislation, updated fuel economy data on July 24 as the new rules for the program were being issued by the Transportation Department.
The changes are a key factor in determining whether trade-ins have sufficiently low mpg to qualify as guzzlers under the program.
A total of 78 model types became ineligible for the program, and 86 became eligible, out of 30,000 vehicle model types over 25 years, the EPA said.
A press release issued by auto-consumer Web site Edmunds.com said the government should extend the period in which ineligible trade-ins are honored because many dealers and customers did not know about the EPA changes until well after they were posted.
There were still plenty of deals that probably happened over the weekend that probably will be disqualified, said Edmunds.com spokesman Chintan Talati.
The EPA said it posted the new fuel economy data on the fueleconomy.gov Web site on July 24.
That was the first day that dealers could file claims for federal reimbursement of $3,500-$4,500 credits paid to customers on purchases dating back to July 1.
But Edmunds.com said the EPA didnt announce the changes until Monday, July 27.