Clunkers Program To End August 24

It didn't last long: one month to be precise. The American public ate through the $3 billion stimulus program for purchasing new, efficient cars and trucks as fast as they could qualify their older gas guzzlers for the $3,500 and $4,500 credits.
August 22, 2009, 7am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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Alas, all good things must come to an end - sometimes prematurely. Precise numbers are not available for how many of the cars turned in through the Car Allowance Rebate System ( actually qualified for the credits as it is estimated that as many as 80% of the claim forms had errors according to a National Automobile Dealers Association report.

While it is estimated that when the program ends Monday, only $2 billion of the $3 billion of credits may have been reimbursed to the new car dealers, the program was on track to exhaust the additional $2 billion authorized by Congress only 2 weeks ago (August 6).

What may have caused the program to end early was the reimbursements due the dealers. It turns out that the Department of Transportation hadn't expected the tremendous interest in the program and could never process the claims as fast as the dealers could submit them.

The program had its share of critics - from those who claimed that it was funding too many light truck purchases and from environmentalists who claimed the program was not an efficient way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Thanks to Mark Boshnack

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Published on Thursday, August 20, 2009 in AP via ABC News
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