The popular 'Cash for Clunkers' program has produced an unexpected casualty. The Transformer Bumblebee was apparently traded in by his owner Sam Witwicky. The 22 year-old Witwicky used the money to purchase a Toyota Prius. When asked about his decision Witwicky said "Bumblebee was great. Don't get me wrong he saved my life, but I'm a recent college grad. I've got a job in the city which requires me to commute and I can't afford to waste my money on gas." Bumblebee - part Chevy Camaro, part robot from a distant planet - got an EPA estimated 27 miles per gallon compared to the Prius' 50 miles per gallon.
There is some controversy as to whether or not Witwicky actually fits the requirements outlined by the government. Under the 'Clunkers' program, a person must own their vehicle and have it continuously insured for at least one year in order to qualify. Witwicky befriended Bumblebee after the shape-shifting robot crash-landed on Earth following the destruction of his home planet by a group known as the Decepticons. Many assumed the pair were friends, a claim Witwicky supports. "We were friends and I hope to continue our friendship in the future. However, it's illegal to drive around without insurance or registration so, you know, I did what I had to do." Witwicky's statement suggests we haven't seen the last of Bumblebee. "I told him this wasn't the end - that he was a Transformer and so he'd probably be scraped and recycled into several Bumblebees. I wouldn't be surprised to see him pop up as my toaster or something like that."
Witwicky's decision has surprised many in the transforming robot community. Optimus Prime - the leader of the Autobots and himself a fuel inefficient semi-truck - expressed concern about the future. "I think we'll probably have to leave Earth. I don't see how we can survive in this changing social climate." Prime did assume partial responsibility for what happened to Bumblebee. "People assume aliens from other worlds are more technologically advanced. This is true when it comes to things like lasers but where we come from gas doesn't exist. We rely on the All Spark. I guess in retrospect we could have chosen better vehicles." Witwicky agreed with Prime's assessment saying, "Bumblebee was cool in high school."
Side note: The Autobots decision to leave Earth prompted a swift response from Megatron. The leader of the Decepticons issued a statement promising to destroy the human race.