Here’s the full list of all 677,081 cars wrecked for cash Clunkers

Here’s the full list of all 677,081 cars wrecked for cash Clunkers

Thirteen years ago, Cash For Clunkers offered a unique premise. Help save a faltering domestic auto industry, bring much-needed capital to an economy devastated by a massive recession, and replace aging gluttons on America’s roads with more efficient cars. The federal clerkship scheme, which destroyed nearly 700,000 allegedly gas-guzzling vehicles, had basic criteria: no car could be 25 years or older, cars had to achieve 18 mpg combined or worse, be roadworthy, and their rebate and scrap value had to be applied to a car, which would be registered and insured for a continuous year after purchase.

What has been taken off the streets has hopefully been recycled multiple times, but the truth is not lost as we have unearthed a little-known, long-lost full account of every CFC-destroyed car. With talk of a new buyback program to push people from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles echoing through Washington DC, it’s the perfect time to revisit what happened the last time we cashed in our clunkers.

We found the report in a Wayback Machine archive from, the website of the Car Allowance Rebate System, also known as Cash For Clunkers. The site has now been offline for more than five years, but the full record of each of the nearly 700,000 vehicles destroyed survives. While there was much whining and gnashing of teeth about CFC claiming a few exotics, this reporting was not based on a checked list to eliminate incorrect entries, duplicates, and other errors.

Now we have definitive data that gives us a glimpse of what was destroyed under CFC – and yes, that includes a number of cars that will really make you cringe. We have a few stories in mind that will go through everything with a fine comb, including one about the classics, rarities and high-performance cars that met their fate during those heady summer days of 2009.

But first, here’s the full list of scrapped cars and trucks. We have embedded the PDF below, sorted alphabetically by manufacturer. We have also set up a public Google Sheet linked here in case there is an issue with the PDF. Record everything:

I wanted to start by looking at what CFC is destroying most. But due to the formatting of the report, it’s far from easy. Vehicles are broken down by year, make, model, and powertrain configuration, with individual models split into multiple entries. Still, I was able to skim the cream off the top by only processing the top 150. That still gave me a pretty good idea of ​​which cars were the most demanding on CFC. And here they are:

  1. 1995-2003 Ford Explorer/Mercury Mountaineer: 46,676
  2. 1996-2000 Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth MPVs: 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 Blazers: 15,668
  8. 1999-2003 Ford Windstar: 12,157
  9. 1991-1994 Ford Explorers: 11,612
  10. 1994-2001 Dodge Ram 1500: 8,103
2002 Ford Explorer, the most destroyed vehicle model among Cash For Clunkers, ford

While the list is a decent cross-section of the most popular cars in the US at the time, popularity alone isn’t why these vehicles were crushed the most. They were destroyed because CFC was intended (at least superficially) to improve the poor fuel efficiency of US drivers’ cars. Not a single vehicle surpassed 18mpg with an automatic transmission, and overall they barely average 16mpg.

That’s pretty much average for Everyone CFC turn-ins, which the Department of Transportation calculated at 15.8mpg. Because CFC worked on a rebate system where dealers received cash for accepting rebate coupons, the federal government was able to track the margin of fuel economy improvement for each sale. It found that the average mpg of replacement vehicles under the CFC program was 24.9 mpg – an improvement of 58%.

1999 Chrysler Town & Country, the second most wrecked model among Cash For Clunkers, Chrysler

But while 700,000 vehicles gaining over 9 mpg sounds like a lot, the US Energy Information Administration found no improvement in automotive fuel economy as a result of CFCs. If anything, it recorded a margin Waste from 2009 to 2010. The effect of CFCs on US fleet fuel economy was further diluted by subsequent years of record car sales: since 2010, over 185 million new cars have reportedly been sold in the US Axelwise.

Ultimately, the impact of the program on our gas consumption was negligible, and that’s without acknowledging the other downsides of CFC. It cost the US government $3 billion, some of which indirectly supplemented US automaker bailouts, although much of it went abroad. Apocryphally, CFC has also been blamed for a rise in used car prices. But that could be explained as a result of higher demand for cheap used cars during the recession.

1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee Orvis Edition, jeep

“Recession” is back on the tongue of economists, as are proposed CFC revivals, which sometimes target EV adoption – the latter has been proposed in DC, according to speculative reports. If the US does indeed enter another recession and a CFC-like program returns, then its proponents need to consider what happened when we first tried to redeem junk, not to mention the differences in market conditions between 2009 and 2022 .Then demand was the problem; today it’s the supply and an EV CFC could quickly turn into a godsend for car dealers and few others.

We can speculate whether CFC has achieved what it set out to do, and we will. But what’s gone isn’t up for debate, and here’s the definitive list.

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