REAL DEAL AUTO BLOG

cash for cluckers is on it’s death bed

Posted in Uncategorized by wolferadio11 on August 19, 2009

NADA officials barked at the government today to suspend the cash-for-clunkers program NOW. An outside survey group found that the $3 billion fund has been exhausted, but not realized yet NADA Chairman John McEleney said.

“We asked them to put a halt to the program — I think we said ‘very soon’ — but a suspension at midnight tonight would make sense,” McEleney said in an interview today. “Our survey opened the eyes of the Transportation Department.”
A suspension would allow dealers to submit all pending claims and permit the government to process them so that a precise determination could be made of how much money, if any, is left in the program, he said.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said earlier today that he would announce in the next few days a strategy for winding down the program so dealers aren’t left holding the bag for vouchers paid to customers.
“We can make a pretty good judgment call,” LaHood said at a news conference. “I know dealers are frustrated, but they’re going to get paid.”

The Transportation Department has said that 411,624 dealer claims for $1.72 billion had been filed as of the morning of Tuesday, Aug. 18.
The difference between that claims figure and the $3 billion total may be accounted for largely by rejections of dealer applications that had not yet been resubmitted. McEleney said.
The dealer backlog of claims that had never been submitted was relatively small, he said.
Among the questions asked in the survey were how many cars were sold under the program, how many claims had not been submitted, and how many claims had been filed but rejected, McEleney said.

The NADA results echoed its findings in a similar survey conducted the last week of July.
Those findings were that the $1 billion initially budgeted for the program was used up in the first week of its formal operation. The program formally began July 27.
On the basis of that earlier sampling, LaHood told NADA and members of Congress that the program was being suspended.
He was overruled by the White House, which kept the program going until Congress appropriated another $2 billion before recessing earlier this month.
McEleney said today that if the government were to suspend the program and find that any money was left over, it could extend its operation a while longer.
LaHood and Ford Motor Co. chief economist Ellen Hughes-Cromwick had predicted that the $3 billion would last until Labor Day.

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