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Of Rusty Wrecks and Fake Insurance Cards: Local Dealers Say Adios to Cash for Clunkers.

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According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, via this New York Times story about today's cash-for-clunkers deadline, I'm the proud owner of one of the most popular trade-ins: a Jeep Cherokee, which is starting to drive like today's its expiration date as well. So, how'd it go for locals? The Times kicked the tires with a couple of Dallas dealerships:

The most popular trade-ins include Ford Explorers, Ford F150 trucks, Jeep Cherokees, Chevrolet Blazers and Dodge Caravans, according to the Transportation Department. They range in condition from decent to rust-mottled wrecks.

"I'm like, people own this?" said Ricky Spencer, manager of new car sales at Friendly Chevrolet in Dallas. "There are cars you would have to get a tetanus shot first before you'd drive it." ...

But some people were so anxious to be rid of their hunks of junk that dealers had to inspect both cars and paperwork carefully. At Toyota of Dallas, one man tried to pass off his truck as the 4-wheel-drive version that would have qualified for the program.

"We were on to him from the start," said David Kelley, the general manager. "I had two people who brought in fake insurance cards." He added, "I just tell them I'm going to give these papers to the federal government, and they do the right thing real quick." That means they walk away.

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