'Cash for Clunkers' program ends

Posted by Cody Holyoke - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Car dealers spent their Monday frantically trying to scan paperwork and submit claims for processing to the 'Cash for Clunkers' program, before the 7:00PM deadline.

"The frustration just comes in. The website's not always working. There's nobody on the phone," explained Brian Tidwell, General Sales Manager for Reinhardt Toyota.

The obstacles are because of 'old vehicle overload.'  During the life of the program, residents turned in more than 400 cars and trucks around Montgomery for new wheels.

Wetumpka resident Richard Martin spent most of his Monday waiting to hear if his deal would even go through.

"It wasn't a sense of urgency or anything.  I just thought, 'If it works, it works.' If it doesn't, than I can still go back and do something different.  But why not try to get a large discounts," Martin said.

Other car buyers, like Judy Lechner of Auburn, searched the state for the right vehicle before coming to the Capital City.

"We heard it this morning we thought, 'Okay, it's not going to happen.'  And we were all ready for it not to happen," Lechner explained.

Now, the program lies in the hands of dealerships. Due to an 'overwhelming demand' on the submission website, government officials extended the deadline to file claims until noon Tuesday.

It's a much needed luxury for car dealers.. Up to their eyeballs in paperwork.

"I think, overall, it's going to be a great process. It's going to be a little frustrating to start off with, and through this, but as long as we get paid, everyone's going to be happy," Tidwell said.

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