Thursday, August 20, 2009

"Car Dealers In 'Clunk' Funk" 


Car dealers are mutinying over the popular Cash for Clunkers program.

Hundreds of frustrated dealers around the city have pulled out of the program because the feds are holding up their reimbursements, the Greater New York Automobile Association said yesterday.

About half the 425 association members say they've dropped out because they've gotten only 2 percent of the millions of dollars owed them by Washington.

"It's an administrative nightmare," said association president Mark Schienberg.

New York dealers aren't the only ones being told the check is in the mail. Nationally, only about 2 percent of dealers have gotten reimbursed for the $3,500 to $4,500 they shelled out for each car to make the program work, according to Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.), who complained to President Obama this week.

About half of Pennsylvania's 950 dealerships have halted clunker deals, said a spokeswoman for the state's automotive association...

Under federal regulations, they are supposed to be reimbursed by Washington within 10 days for the $3,500 to $4,500...

"Their [computer system] crashes all the time and you can't talk to anyone. It's extremely frustrating," said Schienberg.

He said some local dealers are owed up to $1 million from the program.

"Cash flow is extremely important," Schienberg said. "Dealers are throwing up their hands and saying it's time to pull out of the program."

US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood tried to head off the mutiny. "I know dealers are frustrated. They're going to get their money," he told reporters in Washington...LaHood also blamed some dealers for submitting inaccurate forms.

"Many of the applications are faulty and we have to send them back," he said. "As soon as we get a good application, we send the check out."

But when dealers are told there's a mistake in the forms, Schienberg said, "they're not told what was wrong. They have to resubmit the application. And in the meantime they're out the money."

Schienberg said Cash for Clunkers is "a great program" that's been placed "in the hands of this enormous bureaucracy and regulatory agency...." [NY Post]
Well, "Cash for Clunkers" is a complicated program.

Reorganizing 16% of the economy through national health care will be simple. Such things as "federal regulations requiring repayment from Washington in 10 days" under it will be enforced to the letter, you can bet! After all, if not you can sue!