Popular Cash for Clunkers program comes to an end
The United States Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood
announced that after a successful run, the Cash for Clunkers
program closed on August 24.
“This program has been a lifeline to the automobile industry,
jump starting a major sector of the economy and putting
people back to work,” Secretary LaHood said. “At the
same time, we’ve been able to take old, polluting cars
off the road and help consumers purchase fuel efficient
As of August 21, the CARS program recorded more than
457,000 dealer transactions worth $1.9 billion in rebates.
The Car Allowance Rebate System, as it is officially
known, has sparked intense interest, filling auto showrooms
with buyers and revitalizing manufacturing plants. As
a result of the program, automotive inventory has been
depleted and both General Motors and Ford are ramping
up production, adding shifts and rehiring laid-off workers.
The program has provided rebates of up to $4,500 when
people turned in their clunkers for more fuel-efficient
vehicles. Most consumers have turned in trucks and SUVs
in exchange for passenger cars, with an improved gas
mileage of about 60 percent.
Dealers across the United States have complained about
not receiving payment from the government for the program.
Numerous dealers have had to withdraw from the program
because they could not afford to continue advancing funds.
Some dealers indicated they were out over a million dollars
waiting for reimbursement. The application required by
the government is a ten page-plus application.
Dealers were also strongly advised to submit complete
applications, which will expedite payment. Dealers will
still be able to resubmit rejected applications after
the deadline. The Department of Transportation is continuing
to expand the number of people processing dealer applications
for rebates by adding federal workers to the outside
contractors currently at work.