If my experience lately is teaching me anything, it's teaching me to not trust salesmen.
Still waiting to see what the dealer is going to say about our CARS allowance, now that we've presented our case for the higher $4500 credit.
I'll admit this program is slippery and just makes the dealer look stupid. If I'm totally honest, I'd have to say they're having as much difficulty trying to decipher the program as I was. But after all the research I've done, I know that it's $4500 based on a "Clunker" SUV (Catergory 1 truck) being traded for a new SUV (Category 1 truck) and the difference of 5 mpg.
I'm going to copy my online live chat with Ford's site so you can see the type of frustation I'm feeling. I love the part where Julian says that it would be $4500 if I was going to get a Focus, Fusion, ..... or Mariner. And the confusing bit where I have to explain that a Mariner isn't a "Car" it's an "SUV"
You are now chatting with 'Julian'
Julian: Welcome to the Let Ford Recycle Your Ride support center. How may I assist you?
you: Joe here
Julian: Hi Joe
you: My Mercury dealer says my trade for the CARS program is only eligable for $3500, but according to your site and edmunds.com it's $4500
you: I've also read the 136 page pdf from www.cars.gov and if I'm reading it right, my trade allowance should be $4500
you: Who's right?
Julian: That depends on the car you get, if the fuel economy improves by 1 MPG you will only get $3500 and if the fuel economy improves by 2 MPG you will get the $4500.
you: the old car gets 16 mpg according to www.fueleconomy.gov and the new one gets 21 mpg for a diff of 5 mpg
you: I'm trading a 1997 Isuzu Rodeo V6 4wd manual trans and getting a Mercury Mariner Premier I4 4wd
you: how do I let the dealer know he's wrong, or can I appeal to Ford?
Julian: One moment please.
Julian: Just get the print out of that web where it says that your car gets 16MPG.
you: I've done that
you: I tried sending him an email as well, but he won't return my calls
Julian: That is the government web we have to follow what is in that web.
you: So, you're saying I'm right? That it should be $4500
Julian: Well let me check your car
Julian: What kind of car do you have?
you: sure, 1997 Isuzu Rodeo LS 4wd 3.2 V6 5 spd manual
Julian: Ok one moment.
you: according to www.fueleconomy.gov it's 16 mpg
you: new Mercury is 2.5 4cyl auto 4wd gets 21mpg
Julian: What is your zip code?
Julian: Yes I see your car gets 16 MPG.
Julian: Ok I just checked the rules for car
Julian: I was wrong
you: you were wrong?
you: what does my trade qualify for?
Julian: The information that I told you was for a truck
you: these are both Category 1 trucks
Julian: What it says here is 4 MPG or higher $3500
Julian: And 10 MPG or higher $ 4500
you: for Category 1 trucks? It says $4500
you: why does letfordrecycleyourride calculator come up $4500 as well as edmunds.com and every other resource?
Julian: I know but for cars is different.
you: these aren't "cars" they're Category 1 trucks
you: both are SUVs
Julian: If you you get a ford focus you will get the $4500
Julian: Or the fusion ,ranger, escape, Milan, or mariner
you: I don't want a Focus, I want a Mariner and your website as well as others and the federal pdf file say that both vehicles are Category 1 trucks, so it should be $4500
you: this is a Mariner
you: 4cyl 4wd auto trans, SUV
Julian: Is it the 2.5 liter?
Julian: Yes I see what you are looking at
you: it is confusing
Julian: Give me one minute.
Julian: I am going to verify that on the government site.
you: thank you
Julian: I will be right with you.
Julian: Thank you for waiting. I'll be with you in just a moment.
Julian: Do you want a 2009 or 2010
you: 2010 isn't out in dealers
Julian: I'm sorry for the delay. I'll be right with you.
Julian: It says right here from the government site that you qualify for $ 4500
you: That's what I've told the salesman
you: how do I get him to see what you see?
you: can you email him?
Julian: Did you tell him the same information about the new car ?
you: I did
Julian: No we can not do that. but tell him to go to cars.gov .
Julian: So you can show them the right information.
you: thank you I will and I'll print everything out
Julian: Because it says right from the government site that you are eligible for $ 4500
Julian: Thank you for chatting with us. We value your feedback. Please click the CLOSE button at top right to answer a few questions about your experience with us today.