Clunker rebates taking too long to process, dealers get angry

The Department of Transportation is really starting to feel the pinch of the rush caused by the cash-for-clunkers program. The DOT is over 10 days late in issuing payment of at least hundreds of thousands of dollars on submitted claims. Ray LaHood, Transportation Secretary, blames the issue on computer glitches, which apparently have since been solved.

Brad Wood, a dealer in Salisbury, N.C., said he has 12 unpaid claims for $47,000 pending since the beginning of August. Altogether, he is waiting for $319,000 in rebates and has received only $26,000.

The law requires that dealers pay claims of $3,500 and $4,500 within 10 days. Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich. has vowed to put the squeeze on the Transportation Department.

The problems though, seem to be mostly procedural rather than financial, which gives dealers much hope that they will be resolved.

-By: Stephen Calogera