Kars4Kids, creator of the worst jingle, in kourt

Kars4Kids and Cars for Kids have been fighting over their similar names for years.

Kars4Kids is perhaps best known for its terrible jingle, spoofed by the likes of “Family Guy” and “The Good Place.”

Five kids wearing pink and black outfits perform on raised platforms as a band.

But the New Jersey-based charity is also involved in a weird trademark battle with Texas-based America Can! Cars for Kids, per The Drive.

A tale of two charities

Cars for Kids was founded in 1992. Kars4Kids was founded in 1994. Both accept used-vehicle donations, then sell the cars to help kids in need.

They also apparently waste money bickering over their similar names: Cars filed a cease-and-desist order against Kars in 2003 and 2013, then both charities sued each other in 2014.

In 2019, a New Jersey court ordered Kars to pay Cars $10.6m. Kars filed an appeal, and they’re due back in court this month.

What’s weird…

… is that Kars4Kids is frequently in hot water.

It’s faced criticism for not clearly disclosing that it primarily serves Orthodox Jewish children in the Northeast US, and for using very little of its money on charity.

  • In 2009, Kars4Kids paid Oregon and Pennsylvania $130k to settle claims it misled donors.
  • In 2010, the charity lost $5m+ on real estate investments, while spending ~$6m on children’s programs.
  • In 2014, it raised $34.7m, $14m of which was spent on ads.
  • In 2017, Minnesota’s attorney general alleged that, despite raising $3m from car donations in the state between 2012 and 2014, less than $12k went to local children.

But Cars For Kids and Kars4Kids both have two-star ratings from charity watchdog Charity Navigator, losing points for financial accountability.

And it turns out that such charities are often criticized for donating little of what they raise, as processing car donations is expensive.

Nonprofit Quarterly found that two organizations able to return 70%+ of earnings saved money on storage and towing, and avoided high auction fees by also selling directly to buyers.

And now: Kars4Kids, but metal.

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