Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Obama Administration Extends Car Dealers' Cash for Clunkers Deadline

The popular Cash for Clunkers program gained so much momentum in its last few days, that dealerships had a hard time keeping up with the rebate-filing deadline. In response, The Department of Transportation has extended the deadline to this afternoon instead of 8 p.m. last night. The sales must have been completed by the original deadline, but dealers who were unable to submit their requests last night can do so today. Check out the following article from USA Today article about the announcement.

Department of Transportation spokeswoman Jill Zuckman said the deadline has been extended because "overwhelming demand" shut down the DOT website temporarily this afternoon.

As the Obama administration's popular auto rebate program wound into its final hours, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told reporters that it has been "wildly successful" in terms of jump-starting the economy.

"You've got dealers, you've got mechanics, you've got the banks doing the loans," LaHood said in Elizabethtown, Pa. "So this isn't just about the auto industry. We're talking about tons of common, ordinary people who are working today because of this program. This is such a win-win for the auto industry and for common ordinary citizens, too."

As of Monday morning, $2.58 billion worth of vouchers have been submitted and 625,000 old, polluting cars have been taken off the road in exchange for new, fuel-efficient cars, Zuckman said. Because most people turned in gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs in exchange for smaller cars, the Department of Transportation is figuring the program will mean a big decrease in pollution. The DOT says the clunkers that have been turned in were averaging 15 miles per gallon, and the new cars people got are 60% more efficient.

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