Cash for clunkers deadline extended - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Cash for clunkers deadline extended

By Kevin Wheeler - bio | email | Twitter

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The cash for clunkers program was set to end Monday evening, now the deadline has been moved to Tuesday. 

The program was designed to get more fuel efficient vehicles on the road and to boost the auto industry.

"People that took advantage of it," said Alton Pierce, general manager of Toyota of Hattiesburg. "I guess they really got the most benefit because they got most money they could out of an old car."

Petro Nissan general manager Tony Petro said the program has been a benefit to his business and customers.

"The program was a really good boost for us, both for the cash for clunkers program and also for just insulating business," said Petro.

Car dealers across the country spent part of the weekend and Monday sending in the paper work for trade in vehicles. Many dealers like Pierce stopped accepting the clunkers last week.

"We stopped a little early to get all of those processed," said Pierce.

Monday morning the government website was down for maintenance and was backed up for hours. That left dealers wondering if all the paperwork would be processed.

"The website just continues to crash; they change the program a half dozen times," said Petro.

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced late Monday that it would extend the deadline until noon on Tuesday to file paperwork. Even with that good news, there have been few reimbursements and dealers are just wondering when the money will actually come in.

"Nobody has got any spare change laying around to pay for these deals," said Pierce. "We are having to pay these vehicles off as soon as we sell them, so when you're out $130,000 or $140,000 it makes life tough up on the hill."

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