Clunker payment woes continue; dealers ‘angry and nervous’


WASHINGTON: Auto dealers are complaining about the new cash-for-clunkers law, that the Department of Transportation is delaying payment of electronic vouchers that is more than 10 days late of at least hundreds of thousands resulting in an amount of thousands of dollars.

An auto-dealer, by name Brad Wood in Salisbury, N.C., said that he has 12 unpaid claims for $47,000 pending since Aug. 1of a total amount for $319,000 in vouchers and has received only $26,000. He added that he never experienced anxiety like this in business before, who deals Kia, Chrysler and Honda showrooms and said that if he don’t get paid, he will have been working almost free for several months. U.S.A president Barack Obama signed the clunkers law in June requires that auto dealers should be repaid by the government within 10 days for $3,500 or $4,500 that they have paid to customers.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said payments to dealers began on Aug. 4.due to the small computer problems holding up dealer claims and payments that had been solved who also added that they believe that processing will go much smoother.

Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., said that Transportation Department is not doing its job as  they are failing to repay dealers in 10 days. He said in an interview that he will be on Secretary LaHood’s case if he hears from his local dealers. The National Automobile Dealers Association agreed with LaHood’s positive assessment. Bailey Wood further said that there are crooks which will be solved by them. In these days, Wood who is not related to the North Carolina’s dealer is in a different mood after hearing a propel of complaints from dealers. Wood also said that auto dealers are reporting that they can’t get responses to their claims as to whether they’ve been approved or rejected. Wood also added that many also are getting rejections for procedural details because Transportation employees are inaccessible through phone or e-mail and also dealers aren’t getting paid in significant numbers.

Bob Israel who is the president of the Louisiana Automobile Dealers Association, said that few dealers are only getting little money and is not working very well at all. 20 Louisiana dealers visited on Tuesday for a board meeting and reported that they have not received any vouchers.

David Wilson, a Toyota dealer in Orange County, Calif., said he has been paid for only three claims out of the 92 claims he submitted before Aug.2 of which he has 450 unpaid claims filed from $1.9 million. He also added that he is tensed and worried that government will come to an end of money before they get paid.

LaHood has said that the $2 billion added last week will last until Labor Day.

James Barkhouser, a dealer in Danville, Va., said he hasn’t been paid on any of the 50 claims he has filed. Wood said that NADA called the continuing problems to the attention of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. NHTSA spokeswoman Karen Aldana rejected comment.

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