WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration plans to end the popular $3 billionCash for Clunkers program on Monday, giving car shoppers a few moredays to take advantage of big government incentives.
The Transportation Department said Thursday the government willwind down the program on Monday at 8 p.m. EDT. Car buyers canreceive rebates of $3,500 or $4,500 for trading in older vehiclesfor new, more fuel-efficient models.
"It's been a thrill to be part of the best economic news storyin America," Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement. "Now we areworking toward an orderly wind down of this very popularprogram."
Through Thursday, auto dealers have made deals worth $1.9billion and are on pace to exhaust the program's $3 billion inearly September. The incentives have generated more than 457,000vehicle sales. Administration officials said they have reviewednearly 40 percent of the transactions and have already paid out$145 million to dealers.
Administration officials said applications for rebates will notbe accepted after 8 p.m. EDT Monday and dealers should not makeadditional sales without receiving all the necessary paperwork fromtheir customers. Dealers will be able to resubmit rejectedapplications after the deadline.
President Barack Obama said in an interview Thursday that theprogram has been "successful beyond anybody's imagination" butdealers were overwhelmed by the response of consumers. He pledgedthat dealers "will get their money."
Dealers have complained of delays in getting reimbursed andbacklogs of vehicle paperwork getting processed in the program.Dealers have said they face a risk of not being reimbursed butLaHood has pledged that dealers will get paid for theincentives.
The administration has said it has tripled the number ofstaffers sorting through the dealer paperwork.
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