No Wonder the Auto Dealers Are Angry
Of the $1.9 billion worth of vouchers submitted by car dealers under the “Cash for Clunkers” program, the Department of Transportation has sent payments totaling just $145 million, a senior administration official told reporters Thursday.
The official said the DOT has reviewed “just under 170,000″ of the 457,000 dealer submissions, but incomplete forms and other technical complications have slowed outgoing payments.
A large number of those [applications] are incomplete or have inaccurate information, and so the process when that happens is that the application is turned back to the dealer, and the Department of Transportation gives the dealer an opportunity to correct for those incomplete or inaccurate components, after which point they resubmit.
The delay is problematic to dealers, who effectively have to front the cash rebate (between $3,500 and $4,500) when they accept a clunker and let the customer drive off in a new vehicle. And it’s the dealer who’s on the line for that money if the trade for some reason doesn’t qualify for the federal rebate.
The Washington Post reported this morning that some dealers, growing impatient with the agency, have stopped participating in the program altogether.