Washington, D.C. – The U.S. “Cash for Clunkers” program, which gave consumers cash incentives to trade in older vehicles and buy new, more fuel-efficient models, took nearly 700,000 vehicles off the road, according to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

“Cash for Clunkers was wildly successful,” LaHood said. “In a matter of weeks, Americans traded in nearly 700,000 gas-guzzlers for more fuel-efficient cars, improving the environment and providing a lifeline to the auto industry. Our program was a win for everyone, and most importantly it gave the economy a shot in the arm at a time when we desperately needed it.”

LaHood said that the program saw a 60 per cent improvement in fuel economy between the cars traded in and the new vehicles purchased. More than 18,908 dealers participated, and 690,114 voucher applications were filed and reviewed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which administered the program.

Ultimately, 677,842 transactions were approved, with 12,272 applications denied. More than 99 per cent of rebates were approved and paid, for a total of US$2,854,831,500.

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