However, the program requires that the trade-in vehicle be scrapped. Really. According to The Town Talk,
The salient information, in Section 599 of the CARS Act of 2009, details how the administration wants auto dealers to permanently disable the engine in any vehicle used in the deceptively named "Cash for Clunkers" program. That's necessary to ensure a trade-in vehicle will not "be returned to use as an on-road automobile."That would do it. It would be like running sand through the engine. Tough on the bearings.
The legislation even provides "a quick, inexpensive, and environmentally safe process" to do the fatal deed: Drain the oil from the crankcase. Fill the crankcase with a solution of 40 percent sodium silicate and 60 percent water. Run the engine at low speeds until it is inoperable.
Why disable the vehicles? The government doesn't want them back on the road.
I think this is another government program with good intentions and bad execution. It's just another government freebie.