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Cash for Clunkers Ending

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CNN: The $3 billion Cash for Clunkers program will shut down on Monday, the government said Thursday.

woman holding cash
Dealers must submit any pending Clunker deals, including any necessary paperwork, by 8 p.m. ET Monday.

"It's been a thrill to be part of the best economic news story in America," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "Now we are working toward an orderly wind down of this very popular program."

Officials decided to wind down the program, which Congress passed to spur flagging auto sales, after determining that it would soon run out of money.

As of Thursday, the program has recorded more than 457,000 dealer transactions worth $1.9 billion in rebates.

The Department of Transportation is confident, based on its own analysis of Clunker deals that have been submitted and those that are still pending, that the program has enough money left to continue through Monday night, a senior White House official said.

"We are providing several days for consumers and dealers to finalize deals," the official said.

Under the Clunkers program, which launched July 27, vehicles purchased after July 1 are eligible for refund vouchers worth $3,500 to $4,500 on traded-in cars with a fuel economy rating of 18 miles per gallon or less.

"We expect there will be a flurry of activity over the weekend as the program comes to a close," Jeremy Anwyl, chief executive of the automotive Web site, said in a statement.

"With a date certain, NADA is strongly recommending that all dealers now focus their attention and efforts on submitting reimbursement claims prior to the looming deadline," said John McEleney, chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association in a statement on Thursday.

Car dealer Brian Benstock, president of Paragon Honda in Woodside, N.Y., said he's already written 200 Clunker deals and will have a big advertising push this weekend to get a few more.

"We're leaving nothing behind," Benstock said. "When it's over its over and we're leaving no dollars on the sidelines."

Car buyers trading in a vehicle must prove that the vehicle has been titled to them for at least a year and, in most states, that the car has been insured for a year.

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