Business

LaHood says dealers will 'get their money'

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood assured car dealers Wednesday that they will be reimbursed for the popular Cash for Clunkers program, responding to complaints over a backlog of rebate payments.

"I know dealers are frustrated. They're going to get their money," LaHood told reporters. He said the Obama administration would soon announce how much longer the $3 billion car incentive program will last.

Through early Wednesday, auto dealers have made deals worth $1.81 billion and are on pace to exhaust the program's funds in early September. The program offers car buyers rebates of $3,500 or $4,500 for trading in older vehicles for new, more fuel-efficient models and has generated more than 435,000 vehicle sales.

Some car dealers have said their reimbursement requests have not been approved, leading to a cash crunch at their businesses. Dealers typically borrow money to put new cars on their lots and must repay lenders within a few days of a sale.

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