Actually, paid or approved. Clunker claims being approved is the last step before dealers get paid. But yes, Cash for Clunkers, the very popular, definitely controversial program that gave consumers between $3,500 and $4,500 for their old, low gas-mileage cars is racing towards it September 30 end date. Meaning there's one week left to approve the last ten percent. Put another way, $2.6 billion dollars is either in, or will be in the pockets of car dealers for certain, with the remainder of the $2.9 billion total still unaccounted for.

Getting down to the nitty and the gritty, $2.3 billion -- representing 534,598 claims -- has been paid out. Checks have been written, cashed, done. Leaving about $322,000,000 (76,775 claims) approved but not yet paid. Some of the unpaid claims were initially rejected by various reasons but were then resubmitted and then approved. Still, the Department of Transportation (DoT) has one week to pay out more than $615 million to hit Secretary LaHood's September 30 deadline. All in all 681,426 Cash 4 Clunkers deals transpired totaling nearly $3 billion in payouts.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req. | Image Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty]

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