'Cash for Clunkers' comes to an end - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

'Cash for Clunkers' comes to an end

WASHINGTON. - Auto dealers will get more time to submit their Cash for Clunkers deals to the government for repayment after the Department of Transportation extended the deadline for filing claims.

Dealers will now have until noon Tuesday to file the paperwork they need to get repaid for the Cash for Clunkers credits of up to $4,500.

The Transportation Department says the extension is due to an overwhelming demand on the computer system set up to handle the claims. The Web site was shut down temporarily Monday afternoon because of the overload.

The deadline of 8 p.m. EDT Monday still stands for the end of all Cash for Clunkers sales.

In just under a month, the U.S. Department of Transportation has received more than 600,000 applications from dealers for more than $2.5 billion in rebates.

"I've been doing this for 30 years and I've never seen anything like this ever," said car dealer Patrick Dazzo.

The sagging auto industry hopes it's a jump start that will keep its motor running for a long time.

"It keeps everyone in the shop busy, it keeps our service advisors busy, it keeps our parts department busy and then if we are doing a good job in the service drive, guess what, we probably have a customer that is going to come back next time around," said dealership owner Steve Moore. 

Initially, most analysts say, there will likely be huge drop in business in the auto industry based on the success of the 'Clunkers' program. Many dealers are now low on inventory which means customers will be hard pressed to find a bargain on new car.

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