Dealers scrambling to file their paperwork before the "Cash for Clunkers" program ends have been given a reprieve by the Department of Transportation, who today extended the deadline to turn in paperwork until noon Tuesday.
Deals must still be made by 8 p.m. Monday, the DoT said -- but dealers have an extra half-day to file their rebates.
The $3 billion program wound down over the weekend as potential buyers flooded dealerships looking to scrap gas guzzling older models and buy new, more fuel efficient cars.
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Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, speaking to reporters in Norristown, Pa., called the program an unprecedented success and a boon for car dealers, automakers, scrap yards and financial institutions.
"Once the program ends at 8 o'clock there will be 700,000 to 800,000 cars that have been sold, most of them fuel efficient," replacing gas-guzzling cars and trucks, LaHood said.
Transportation officials said through early Monday, dealers had submitted 625,000 vouchers totaling $2.58 billion.