Shortened Clunkers Program Produces 690,114 Deals
By Brendan Moore
The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) has released figures showing that automobile dealers submitted 690,114 deals for a dollar value of $2.88 billion by the program’s deadline at 8 PM Eastern Time yesterday.
This brings in the program under the $3 billion funding limit of the program, but this was accomplished only by truncating the time of the program twice. The cash for clunkers programs was originally designed to run until November, but instead ran only four weeks.
Meanwhile, dealers are frothing at the mouth over the DOT computer system used to submit the cash for clunker deals. The platform has been repeatedly overwhelmed with the immense volume of deals being submitted, which renders it inaccessible, and the level of frustration among dealers is very, very high. Additionally, many deals have been rejected for format errors by the DOT, but without any guidance whatsoever on what error(s) on the form caused the rejection by the program, leaving the dealer personnel to simply guess at what might be wrong as they scramble to re-submit the deal. Lastly, payments for the deals that have been approved have been disbursed at a glacial pace.
All of this has automobile dealers hopping mad.
The DOT already has 2000 employees processing cash for clunkers deals, and says it plans to add even more personnel to that number today, in an effort to make some headway against the backlog of deals in the queue.
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