Guzzlers’ funds will run out before Nov. 1, NADA says

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CASH FOR GUZZLERS PROGRAM
‘Guzzlers’ funds will run out before Nov. 1, NADA says
Feds working to make sure all dealers are reimbursee

Chrissie Thompson and Neil Roland

The cash-for-guzzlers program will run out of its $1 billion funding “well before” its Nov. 1 expiration date, a spokesman for the National Automobile Dealers Association said today, after the government said dealers have already applied for 10 percent of the funds.
“Accordingly, NADA is currently working with (the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) to ensure that every dealer is reimbursed by NHTSA for a valid deal and that the wind-down to this program is fair and orderly,” NADA spokesman Bailey Wood said in an e-mail.
As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, dealers had submitted 22,782 deals worth $95.9 million in reimbursements, NHTSA said today in a statement.
That’s an average of $4,209.26 per deal, indicating that a majority of sales include $4,500 vouchers. Dealers filed $27 million worth of requests during the workday Wednesday, compared with $51.9 million filed during the previous 24 hours. The system for filing applications is now in its sixth day.
The cash-for-guzzlers program has a $1 billion budget to pay dealers back for giving consumers $3,500 to $4,500 for trading in some gas-guzzling vehicles for new ones with better fuel efficiency. As much as $50 million of that budget can go toward NHTSA’s administration costs.
The $95.9 million is the amount of money dealers have requested for reimbursement, NHTSA spokesman Rae Tyson said today. His statement was a clarification of a previous statement that the money was the amount approved for dealer payouts. Tyson said he did not know how long it would take for dealers to receive their payments. The government’s www.cars.gov Web site says it will take about 10 days for voucher money to appear in dealers’ accounts after each request gets approved.
Tyson said he wouldn’t “make any prediction” about when the funding will run out.
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