MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -
So close yet so far for James Davis.
"I couldn't believe it to start with. I'm upset with the government," said Davis.
Mr. Davis was just hours away from trading in his Honda Passport clunker for a new car for his daughter.
"They were unloading it last night," Davis said.
The dealer in Montgomery agreed to give Davis $4,500 for his Passport, the most he could get under the program but then this bit of news out of from Washington.
"The 'cash for clunker' had run out of money and the dealer said the deal was off. I couldn't blame him," Davis said.
In fact, a salesman reportedly told Davis the government already owed the dealership $90,000.
Up in Prattville Larry Puckett of Larry Puckett Chevrolet says the Cash for Clunker owes him $50,000. About a dozen motorists turned in their clunkers to Puckett, worked out deals and drove away in new, more fuel-efficient vehicles. Puckett is one who believes the cash for clunker is a good concept though not necessarily well-thought out.
"It's obviously jumped-started the economy a little but this is cumbersome. You have to know what you're doing. We got 137 pages of rules to tell you how to run the program. It's a lot of work for us but it benefits the customer," said Puckett.
James Davis' SUV is 9 years old, still chugging along with 100,000 miles on it yet the 'Cash for Clunker' program was too good of a deal to pass up, which is why Davis says he'll continue to shop around with other dealers now that the federal government says the program will be good for the weekend and maybe beyond.
The U.S. House today voted to add another 2 billion dollars to clunker. The Senate is expected to vote on Monday.
"I'm just looking for something dependable for my daughter," said Davis.
The 'Cash for Clunker' hit a roadblock this week but now motorists like Davis have the weekend at least to get around it.
Despite the money woes the program turned out be very popular. 23,000 dealerships signed up for and more than 22,000 vehicles had been purchased.