How not to get clunked

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Although it is illegal to sell any car traded in under President Obama’s Cash For Clunkers program, there are some unscrupulous dealers reselling them today.  These vehicles were to have been dismantled and scrapped under the “car allowance rebate system”.  More than half a million trade ins were recorded at 35 to 45 hundred dollars each.

How do we protect ourselves from being sold a clunker?  The best aid I found would be an obtained vehicle history report.  Many consumers recognize Carfax as a great buying tool.  Carfax has added to its database, with the help from the National Highway Traffic Administration, the (VIN) Vehicle Identification Number of every car traded in under the federal program.  Simply go to their website and input the VIN (vehicle identification number) for a full report.

Don’t forget that traditional methods of visual inspection will help as well.  Correlate the seller’s name with the VIN on all documents and on the vehicle itself.  Check the obvious, such as malfunctioning indicator lights, rust and brittle wires that have dried after being under water.

By simply being aware and doing a little research, the purchase of a clunker is less likely to happen.  Remember to quickly report any of these illegal offerings so no one else will be so blindly taken.  If it is too late, call your local district attorney’s office to seek possible remedies.  Many states have lemon laws that would cover this situation.  All in all, simply be buyer beware and use some common sense.


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