If you were thinking about taking advantage of the $3,500 to $4,500 cash for clunkers rebate program, you have until Monday at 8 p.m., Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced Thursday.
Some dealers have already stopped offering the incentive, saying they aren’t receiving reimbursement from the government. The Obama administration is developing plans to wind down the CARS program, the AP reports.
“We want to make sure that dealers know when we’re getting close” to running out of money, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. LaHood said he knows that “dealers are frustrated. They’re going to get their money.”
GM said Thursday it would give cash advances to its dealers to help cover any cash shortage from the cash for clunkers program. Several automakers’ financial arms are now offering help to cash-strapped dealerships by giving them loans to help cover the cash flow issues. Toyota Financial Services, Honda Motor, Nissan Motor, Ford Motor and other automakers are helping their dealers with these loans.
Dealers said they have advanced more than $1 billion in CARS rebates to consumers, leaving them with a low cash level, CNN Money reports. These dealers are complaining that they’ve only been repaid for about two percent of clunker deals because of slow paperwork processing by the Department of Transportation.
LaHood said the government has “put an enormous number of people on the task of processing the paperwork" and that "there will be no car dealer that won’t be reimbursed.”
Some dealer groups said there should be a promise from the DOT that all qualified deals before the end date will be reimbursed, even if it exceeds the $3 billion.
The $3 billion in government funds for the CARS program are almost gone, so if you want to trade-in your clunker, don’t wait.