Earlier this week, President Obama signed into law the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS). This program helps consumers pay for new, more fuel-efficient vehicles when they trade in less fuel-efficient cars or trucks.
Stimulating the automobile industry while improving the environment and reducing fuel consumption--these are outcomes the DOT is pleased to support.
Congress and the Obama Administration recognize this is an important time for the automobile industry. And, the CARS program will help boost car and truck sales. Moreover, since the auto industry has improved vehicle safety and reduced vehicle emissions over the years, we are also excited about a program that puts vehicles on the road that are safer, pollute less, and get more miles to the gallon than the vehicles they replace.
CARS will be implemented by DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). It's a new responsibility this department welcomes; I know the folks in NHTSA stand ready to fulfill their new charge.
To receive the maximum rebate of $4,500, the new car must have a fuel economy rating of at least 10 miles-per-gallon greater than the car to be traded. To receive an incentive of $3,500, the same car would be traded for one that gets at least four miles-per-gallon better gas mileage.
The rules differ slightly for vans, trucks, and SUVs, and there are other requirements. I encourage everyone to learn more about the program from the website, www.cars.gov, or call NHTSA’s Auto Hotline at 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).