At 10 a.m. yesterday, a gauge on the CARS website declared that there was estimated $779 million left in the $1 billion fund that is being used to take low-mpg vehicles off the road in exchange for new, more efficient vehicles. Late last night came news that the government was worried that a backlog of unprocessed purchases might mean that the fund was actually almost tapped out and that CARS (cash for clunkers) could be suspended.
So, what's the news today? Well, it looks like people can still trade their clunkers in for now. Michigan Senator Carl Levin told the AP that Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood confirmed that CARS deals will be honored at least for today and that some Congresspeople and White House are trying to find money to keep the program alive beyond today. The Detroit News reports that the goal is to find another $2 billion in emergency funding for CARS. The money could come from the $787 billion stimulus bill that was passed in February. Currently, the official CARS site has the following emblazoned at the top: "Qualified consumers may participate in the CARS Program between July 1, 2009 and November 1, 2009 or when authorized funds are no longer available." Not a lot of detail there.
If you're now stuck with a clunker you wish you'd traded in last week, perhaps you'll enjoy the Cash For Clunkers Blues video by 12-year-old Connor James Pasch that you can find after the break. Also on the other side are two clips of just what it means when the clunkers get their engines deactivated. It's not pretty.
[Source: Detroit News, AP]
Photo by dno1967. Licensed under Creative Commons license 2.0.