Cash For Clunkers Runs Dry In 4 Days

The government announced this evening that the Cash For Clunkers program is fantastically successful. So successful, in fact, that the program ran through its almost $1 billion budget in four days, and has been suspended.

Part of the problem is that nobody knows how much of the program’s budget has actually been spent. Dealers aren’t sure how many trades they’ve actually completed, which is problematic considering the program’s success.

The decision to suspend the plan came after auto dealers warned the government today that it was in danger of losing track of how many trades had actually been made.

The plan offering owners of old cars and trucks $3,500 or $4,500 toward a new, more efficient vehicle has proven wildly popular, with 22,782 trades certified by federal officials since Monday. But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration told dealers Wednesday that a vast majority of transactions submitted were being rejected for incomplete or illegible paperwork.

It’s nice to see a news story about record new car sales, but this is not the context in which you really want to see it.

Cash-for-clunkers program to be suspended [Detroit Free Press]
Cash for clunkers: Government stalls the CARS program
[Consumer Reports Cars]

Cash4Clunkers Admin Responds To MPG Switcharoo, Says Nothing
EPA Tweaks Official MPGs Prior To Cash4Clunkers, Shafting Some
Don’t Let Cash For Clunkers Become Cash For Con Artists
Consumer Reports Cash for clunkers hub

(Photo: Laura Northrup)