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Update: July 24, 2009

The official NHTSA website (www.cars.gov) is now posting information advising consumers that the Cash for Clunker program will start on Monday July 27, 2009. The NHTSA as recent as yesterday had indicated that dealers could start the program today.

Here is the exact wording:

"Starting on July 27, consumers will be able to take advantage of this program and receive a $3,500 or $4,500 discount from the car dealer when they trade in their old vehicle and purchase or lease a new one."

The Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS), is operated by the NHTSA which was given the task of implementing the provisions in the Cash for Clunkers bill. The bill was signed by President Obama in June and consumers must be patient while the NHTSA sets up the program. The process has not been easy and this new delay is par for the course.

Why This Delay?

There is no specific reason given why the date was moved from today to Monday but we have a few thoughts:

  • The 136 page page Final Rules document was just published this morning.
  • The Final Rules document has policies and procedures that need to be put in place for dealers.
  • Dealers have to give clunkers a lethal injection before sending them to the scrapyard.
  • Dealers around the country are reporting that the NHTSA registration website is crashing which is preventing them from registering.
  • Dealers have reported getting wrong registration codes on their official letters this week.

Last week we predicted that the NHTSA web servers may not be able to be sufficiently tested in advance of having 30,000 dealers hit their site. Chaos reigns today at car dealers across the country.

Dealers are telling us that they will be taking in trades and deals today and through the weekend regardless of this recent announcement.


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So, the drama associated with the Cash for Clunkers bill continues. Please follow our updates on http://twitter.com/cashclunkers throughout the day for updates on the developing story.

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