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G. Voyager/G. Caravan EPA is 18, NOT 19! Don't miss out Cash for Clunker!

pragmatist1pragmatist1 Posts: 25
The government EPA website (www.fueleconomy.gov) does not list the Grand Caravan and Grand Voyager separately from the Voyager and the Caravan. The government is incorrectly assuming that they have the same combined mileage, but the Grands have a combined EPA of 18, thus making them eligible for Cash for Clunkers ($4500 trade in value toward a new car!). Those who have old Grand Caravans/Grand Voyagers should email fueleconomy@ornl.gov and request that they correct the information on the government website ASAP so that we will be able to take advantage of Cash for Clunkers

Comments

  • arquiolarquiol Posts: 1
    Here is the letter that I just sent to the fueleconomy.gov website
    Anyone else interested in this should also send a letter to hopefully get this straightened out.

    These cars are not listed on your website and I am concerned because I want to take advantage of the Cash for Clunkers incentive. These vehicles are identical to the Chrysler Town and Country in that they have a third row seat and are significantly larger than the standard Caravan/Voyager. Edmunds.com, Consumer Reports, and carpoint. com all list the Dodge Grand Caravans and Plymouth Grand Voyagers as having an epa rating of 18mpg and are thus eligible for the Cash for Clunkers incentives.

    Could you please clarify this issue at least by posting the fuel economy for these vehicles on your website.

    Thanks

    Jason Hamilton
  • str1derstr1der Posts: 4
    Did you ever find out anything? I'm in the same boat. I have a 2000 Grand Caravan with the 3.3L FWD engine. I was all ready to buy a new hybrid not it looks like I'm screwed.
  • I finally wrote my congressman for help, and I suggest you do the same. I then quickly got a reply from fueleconomy and NHTSA, but it was vague and non-committal, didn't say they'd do anything about it, and they haven't done anything yet. I think they think I'm a nut-case. Email your congressman, emphasizing that he likely has thousands of constituents who own these old Grand Caravans and Grand Voyagers who are going to miss out on this program because NHTSA and fueleconomy.gov won't fix their error.
  • str1derstr1der Posts: 4
    Well I've pretty much written to eveyone I can think of but I'm not getting any responses. This is really ticking me off because I'm kind of in a holding pattern and can't get the ball rolling until I get an answer.
  • rocky53rocky53 Posts: 5
    I finally received a reply from FuelEconomy.gov admitting there is an error but "passing the buck" to Chrysler Corp. stating the following... "We have consulted the EPA and their counterparts at Chrysler to determine the best way to list these vehicles. The manufacturers are only required to test one representative vehicle for each combination of loaded vehicle weight class, transmission class, and basic engine. The Voyager and Grand voyager were jointly certified, thus there is no separate fuel economy rating for your vehicle.Our website has recently been changed to reflect this. I know this disappoints you because the "Grand" version is different from the other version of the vehicle, but at the time these vehicles were jointly certified, the manufacturer had no way of knowing that a rebate system in 2009 would depend on the EPA ratings."
    I replied that there must exist some recourse since this unfair error/omission is going to wrongly effect potentially thousands of "Cash for Clunkers" candidates like myself. What can we do....any ideas?
  • I tried to get Chrysler to submit the info to FuelEconomy.gov about a month ago. After I hit a dead end with customer service, they suggested that I write to the CEO of Chrysler. At that point I concentrated my efforts on NHTSA and Fueleconomy.gov and my congressman, to no avail.
  • Well, all fueleconomy.gov did was add the Grands into the website with the same mileage as the smaller Voyagers/Caravans. I think the only thing left to do is to petition Chrysler to submit the corrected information to NHTSA and fueleconomy.gov.
  • str1derstr1der Posts: 4
    Man this is total BS. I guess there goes my plan to buy a new vehicle.
  • It is pretty disgusting. Obviously, 10 yrs ago, in order to make it look like their minivans had better gas mileage overall, Chrysler only reported the mileage for the smaller non-Grand voyagers and Caravans. Now, when it's going to make a difference for a lot of people (after all, many more Grands were sold than the smaller vehicles), the NHTSA is refusing to recognize the difference in mileage. Of course, since Chrysler had no smaller version of the Town and Country, the mpg for the Grands is the same as that of the Town and Country, namely, 16/22/18. The only thing left to do is to write to the following at Chrysler:

    Bob Nardelli, Chairman of Board of Management

    James Press, President and CEO

    Tom Lasorda, Chief Operating Officer

    all at PO Box 21-8004, Auburn Hills, MI 48321

    and ask them to please report the correct mpg (16/22/18) for the Grands to the NHTSA/fueleconomy.gov, and hope that they'll do it in time for us to participate in the program.
  • str1derstr1der Posts: 4
    Still hitting nothing but dead ends here. What about you?
  • rocky53rocky53 Posts: 5
    I've written to Chrysler's CEO, COO,etc., cars.gov, fueleconomy.gov, (even President Obama). I've called all 3 of my congressmen also. So far NOTHING. I also was e-mailed today by fueleconomy.gov who directed me to cars.gov as the "official site" for the program. I then called them at 1-866-CAR-7891 and they then directed me back to fueleconomy.gov. I then called them and they said that the combined MPG ratings were obtained from the manufacturers by the EPA and they (fueleconomy.gov) would have someone in the EPA contact me (we'll see). I tell everyone that this admitted mistake shouldn't be this hard to rectify and that allowing it to stand will undermine both the intent and effectiveness of the "cash for clunkers" program as the Chrysler "Grands" were so popular . Any ideas going forward ??
  • rocky53rocky53 Posts: 5
    I also tried to contact my local NBC news affiliate...this may strike them as consumer advocate news story fodder. This may be our only option left. If it is picked up it may get results.
  • I've been reading this discussion for a couple of weeks. I too have a 2000 Gr Caravan, and want to get a Jetta wagon (still have some hauling needs). Yesterday Chrysler unveiled its own rebate program--they are giving buyers $4500 whether or not the trade in quallifies under C4C, and adding another $4500 if the vehicle they buy meets other (rather stringent) requirements vis a vis the trade in car.

    Therefore, Chrysler has nothing to gain by correcting the mpg error on the 2000 Grands. If owners of this model & year want their $4500 trade, they have to buy a Chrysler. Period. I do not think any change in the fuelecon.gov listings will come from them.

    This also keeps the old Caravans on the road, btw. The dealers can turn them around & resell instead of pouring sodium silicate in the engines.

    If you want your $4500 you will have to get the EPA to change the number, and the point will have to be that it's about getting the gas eaters off the road.
  • rocky53rocky53 Posts: 5
    I surprisingly received a call from "Steve", Corporate Offices Communications Director who said he received my letter (one of three I sent Certified Mail to specific Chrysler Officers), who wished to go over my concerns in more detail. After I reiterated the inaccurate MPG rating on the "GRANDS" and the information I received to date from FuelEconomy.gov, he claimed that Chrysler is aware of this problem and are "reviewing the matter" but couldn't say when or what the final outcome would be. He said that these complaints are "not falling on deaf ears".

    We will just have to try and keep hope alive and keep making noise. Has anyone else tried to contact local or national news outlets to hopefully create some more mainstream exposure? I mentioned to "Steve" that we are beginning to solicit news coverage of this problem. He seemed somewhat concerned. (I hope it was genuine).
  • I was told by the NHTSA in a phone call I made to them, to use the "corrections" feature on the EPA's webmaster site to alert them, as it is a data error on their webpage. So I did.

    After the automated replies over the weekend, I have received 2 emails asking me to clarify, and assigning the matter a case number.

    I've sent them links to the various models' mileage pages on fuelecon.gov, and told them these cars all have the same engine, and that it is very unlikely Chrysler is going to give them any corrections, no matter whose error it orignally was, because at the moment Chrysler holds all owners of 2000 Gr Caravans & Voyagers captive. And that Chrysler will simply turn around any 2000s they take as trades under their own version of C4C & put them right back on the road as used cars. They cannot themselves receive a rebate from the feds due to the erroneous listing.

    There was a story on the front page of our local paper today abt C4C, and I am going to email the reporter to give her this angle. Rocky, if you communicate any more with "Steve," let him know that.
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