"'Clunkers' Auto Rebate Plan So Popular That It's Broke"

"New-car shoppers appear to have already snapped up all the $1 billion that Congress appropriated for the 'cash for clunkers' program, leading the Transportation Department to tell auto dealers Thursday night to stop offering the rebates.

But a White House official said the program had not been suspended, creating confusion about its status. The program offers $3,500 to $4,500 for people who trade in an old car for a new one with higher fuel economy.

In a statement issued Thursday evening, Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, said: 'We are working tonight to assess the situation facing what is obviously an incredibly popular program. Auto dealers and consumers should have confidence that all valid CARS transactions that have taken place to date will be honored.'"

Matthew L. Wald reports for the New York Times July 30, 2009.

Source: NYTimes, 07/31/2009