DOT 126-09 Thursday, August 20, 2009 Tel: 202-366-4570
Secretary LaHood Announces Wind Down to
Hugely Popular CARS Program
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced Thursday that after a wildly successful run, the cash for clunkers program will come to a close on Monday, August 24th at 8 p.m. EDT.
"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 vehicles."
As of today, the CARS program has 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.
"It's been a thrill to be part of the best economic news story in America," Secretary LaHood said. "Now we are working toward an orderly wind down of this very popular program."
The program has provided rebates of up to $4,500 when people turned in their clunkers for fuel-efficient vehicles. Most consumers have turned in trucks and SUV's in exchange for passenger cars, with an improved gas mileage of about 60 percent.
Secretary LaHood said the Monday night end date will allow car dealers and buyers plenty of time to finalize purchases and submit applications for rebate from the remainder of the $3 billion provided by Congress. Based on conservative estimates of valid transactions so far, DOT analysts have projected that there is enough money to continue accepting submissions until the Monday deadline.
Applications for rebates will not be accepted after 8 p.m. EDT Monday and dealers should not make further sales without receiving all the necessary paperwork from their customers. Dealers are 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.
For more information, please visit CARS.gov.
Cash for Clunkers Update 7/31/2009 2:08 P.M.
WASHINGTON - The House voted Friday to rush $2 billion into the popular but financially strapped "cash for clunkers" car purchase program, heeding calls from consumers who hope to keep taking advantage of the trade-in incentives.
The bill was approved on a vote of 316-109. House members acted within hours of learning from Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood that the program was running out of money.
President Barack Obama said he was encouraged by the House action to keep alive a program that had "succeeded well beyond our expectations."
Cash for Clunkers Update 7/31/2009 12:42 P.M.
Cash for Clunkers Contacts
Below is the latest program information from NHTSA. Expect to have additional info on program funding later today. Discussions are ongoing.
DOT advises the following as of right now:
1. The CARS program is NOT SUSPENDED
2. Deals should continue; all deals concluded before a suspension is announced (if that happens) will be honored
3. The Administration is looking at all options to add funds to the program
4. They expect to have an update later today - hopefully sooner rather than later
5. As of this morning, $250 million worth of vouchers is committed based on submitted transactions
6. NHTSA is doubling the number of personnel reviewing transactions, in order to speed up the reimbursement process
Importantly, OEMs should advise their dealers to take the time to file complete and accurate reimbursement requests with the agency. Many submissions are being rejected because of basic mistakes or omissions, that are easily corrected but when resubmitted, these requests go to the back of the line. Therefore, the best way to get reimbursed quickly is to ensure a complete and accurate submittal the first time. Once again, NHTSA commits that all legitimate CARS deals made up until the program is formally suspended (if that happens) will be honored.
The cash for clunkers program is a very simple program. The way it works is if you have a vehicle that gets less than 18 miles per gallon based on EPA combined averages, and get a new car with improved fuel mileage -- based on the mileage improvement you will be qualified for one of the two vouchers.
* EPA Combined MPG ** under 6,000 lbs. ***6,000 lbs. - 8,500 lbs. **** 8,500 - 10,000 lbs.
I am qualified, now what do I do?
Simply trade in the clunker and purchase a new car. Once you do that you will be able to qualify for the voucher. If you would like more details, click here to contact us.
I have two clunkers!
While we would be more than happy to help you out, you will only be allowed one voucher person.