Industry News & Trends

What is Cash for Clunkers (C.A.R.S.) Doing for YOU?

cash_for_clunkers_dumpster

I took this photo on the way to work the other morning..what some dealers are doing to get their piece of the Cash for Clunkers pie. I have to admit, it caught my eye. What have you seen? – Jeff

CARS Program Logo

If you’re experiencing some good results with the C.A.R.S. Program you’re probably excited to have a bunch of cash floating in limbo and a back-lot full of junk!  If you’re like us, you’re probably still hitting refresh on the CARS-Dealer-Marketing site for a store or two.  Does that make you nervous?

Add to the limbo-state of things some of us may be in, along with the fact that FuelEconomy.gov is changing the combined mileage stats on some cars and some additional rules & forms magically appearing in the dealer portal you’ve got to be feeling exceptionally great about this program!

We’ve now taken over 130 clunkers off the streets, at Checkered Flag, so we’re enjoying the champagne right now.  After a long meeting about the program processing this morning I’m starting to think the hangover is about to set in though.  We still have some questions about the scrappage value along with some of these new forms we just found.

If you haven’t processed a deal yet, it looks like quite a few pages of scanned document uploads and tons of deal information.  We were thinking about hiring a temp to do the processing, but yours truly and our Systems Admin volunteered for the job (shoot me now).

I’m sure it will all straighten out.

Aside from dealing with Uncle Sam on this level for the first time, we’ve also had some memorable experiences with a few customers.  Before I share any stories, Jeff and I want to hear what you all have been through.  Got some funny stuff?  Some frustrations?  Some bragging?  Let it rip!

Feel free to join our Cash for Clunkers conversation on the Dealer Refresh forums:  http://forum.dealerrefresh.com/f40/cash-clunkers-224.html

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Jeff,

Every experience that you quoted is already a shared frustration but my real fear is in what is yet to come! The first test calls I had for my dealer clients in several markets with the approved "Scrap yards" were equally chilling as they asked me more questions than they answered! Add to that the simple math that suggests that the one billion dollars funding the program will probably run out "mid-deal" for many dealers with the vehicle delivered and no funds in the till and the nightmare of our first experience with "Governmemt Motors" will be indicative of a concerning future!

There is one positive comment that I should add regarding the site that FordDirect.Com posted for their dealers to walk them through the government process. It is extremely organized and they walk their Ford dealers through the process from registration to printing the rebate certificate so my compliments to them and theirs! All qualified Ford dealers received the site info and access codes so I won't post them here, but if you are a Ford Dealer and you didn't know of or use their site - just ask your DSM or go to FordDirect.Com. After all, what are friends for!
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Well, unfortunately, we're closing on July 31st so we're not participating. From the outside looking in, it's VERY frustrating because just about every customer who comes in thinks they have a "clunker" and they get $4500. In a LOT of cases, they just have a poorly maintained POS that, if it were running properly, had all of its sensors hooked up and had been maintained, would be getting 22 - 26 mpg highway and 20 to 22 city. Then they want to argue with you about the fact that "their" car only gets 15 mpg so it IS eligible.

You know the drill, "well, I'm going to go somewhere else where they're not trying to rip me off" syndrome.

Fortunately, I'll be moving to another of our stores (Mike Albert Leasing Retail outlet) where they only sell used cars so I still won't be dealing with C.A.R.S. and have the higher gross of used cars.

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    Nick
  • July 27, 2009
I run the Internet department for a Hyundai store. We got a HUGE bump because of Hyundai fronting us the cash before the 24th. I think that was a brilliant move on their part.

On the last Monday of the month, I am looking at a personal best month, and a whopping 53%+ of our new car sales have been C.A.R.S. deals!

I find qualifying the customer to be very easy, but then again I am used to lots of ...ahem... time consuming questions about rebates, etc so it's just another hurdle in the Internet process for me. If someone has a clunker, I am on fueleconomy.gov before they finish telling me what it is, and it's a yes or no. Simple as that.
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    John Savolainen
  • July 27, 2009
I lost a deal on Saturday when the customer wanted to get $4,500 for his '95 Isuzu Rodeo LS 4x4 and buy a 2009 Pontiac G6. His Rodeo rated 15 mpg and the G6 27. On Saturday the gov't website said $3,500 and today it said no classification!
It shouldn't be this complicated. Anyone else experience the same type of situation or can you help me rescue a deal?
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  • July 27, 2009
Alex/Jeff,

In my travels from dealership to dealership Friday through today, I have found that my client Chrysler Dodge Jeep stores were "Run over" by consumers concerning the CARS program. (Chrysler's Ad campaign stating the Doubling of the Gov't Rebate program must of worked in my area.)

From personal conversation with these Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealers/GM's, I have found that they are now waking up to the fact (Monday morning) that they may not see these funds for months. The Hangover is on... Is it true that the "Rules Book" from the government is over 100 pages? Online registration of each and every deal is the only way to acquire these funds? Scary...

How long can these dealers wait on a "Recieveable" of $3500-4500 from the gov't? As a vendor, I felt a lot of frustration out there amongest the GM's/Dealers who are taking part in this program. It's a huge risk on their part. (Present Cash Flow.)

In closing, I want to ditto Phillip Zelinger's first paragraph issues above. Also, if I were Alex, I would not let one CLUNKER leave Checkered Flag's lot until I got paid the rebate from Uncle Sam. By the way, did you take the time to check when that CLUNKER was manufactured? If it was made in June of 1984, it's 25 years old and one month. Does it qualify? Think about it...
Mark - good advice. If we're reading the 136 page document of rules right, along with the other newly added forms to the website, it seems like you have to report the deal to the government within 7 days of doing it. That also requires a status update on the Clunker along with a "killed-for-resale" title. I'm not sure we can really hold onto these clunkers. But if things go as planned, you get the deal recorded with the NHTSA within 7 days, then they get funding for the clunker to you 10 days later. We'll see how well this works, but the way this thing reads, and past promises, there is a 17 day turn around. We're only 4 days into this program now.
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    Skip Shakely
  • July 28, 2009
I'm over-joyed and very nervous. As of yesterday we had over 100 plus deals in our 3 stores plus yesterdays business so the program has done what it was suppose to do, "bring customer in", and they are all mostly good qualified customers with a lot of cash deals. I wonder though if the ones coming in are not just a lot of pent up demand were seeing. If we can get them all processed it will make our month. That brings up the concern. It seems like it will be a "dash for the cash" and a lot of dealers will come up short.Since the money is only good for roughly 250,000 car deals nationwide, which comes out to about 12 per dealer with 19,700 dealers. It only stands to reason somebody will lose. We are doing this well and we are not in a large market so what are they doing in large markets? The key in my opinion is the dealers who get the paperwork right and get the deals in to Uncle Sam fast will get the payoff. We have set up Cash 4 Clunker teams in each store to run the process we have set up so that we can get the deals in quickly and correctly to avoid the potential loss that may come, problem is right now we have added $500,000 to an already negative cash flow and it's growing. Plus will the Govt. change the rules? So it's good but scary!
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    Richard
  • July 28, 2009
John,

"It shouldn’t be this complicated."? Since when is any government program not complicated?
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If you start doing the math, this program will run out of money by mid August. While everyone is trying to get all the legal information and processing forms right, the $1 billion is going fast.

If 18,000 dealers register and each does 10 deals in their first week, that 75% of the money gone. Many of the dealers we have talked to and this forum support this, have a few dozen deals done per store.

The Hyundai dealers have been at this for 3 weeks so they easily have dozens of deals done. One of my clients has 60 deals done and most have 15 done per location.

The NHTSA is supposed to provide a "countdown clock" on the CARS website. This clock will be going from $1 billion to ZERO in not time flat.

Dealers will need to keep an eye on this because this program could go from 100 mph to a dead stop in a few weeks.

It will be a bad case of muscial chairs. Imagine booking a deals just to find out that no more money is left. That will be a happy customer.
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    Richard
  • July 28, 2009
Brian,

Do you believe the government will allocate more resources if the program is such a big success?
<b>Richard</b> - not speaking for Brian, but if the money is gone well before November 1st it will be a big win politically for Obama. He is one of the best DC-marketers I've ever seen and they'll have this in front of the media in 2 seconds. There will be enough political clout on this one, and media coverage, to get more money passed through the House(s) without hassle.

But, the second batch of bucks will probably not have the same affect and they might have to open the requirements some more.

It just all depends on if the money runs out early and if no other political issues surface.
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    Andy Decker
  • July 28, 2009
I had a customer last night who came in and stated that they are going to wait for "next month when the government offers a higher rebate and allows for a higher combined mileage."

...*facepalm*
<b>Andy</b> - even though I am speculating those dollar printing presses will fire up again, it is pure speculation. I could be dead wrong...and hope I am because that means we're showing signs of stability and growth. Your customer is running on his/her pure speculation as well.
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    Just a CarGuy
  • July 28, 2009
Look at the line on your check that says "taxes". Still happy about the program? You should be.....you paid for it!
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I dont see anybody talking about small independant used car dealer having to grab there ankles and hold on for this one.

All i know is things have slowed way down since the gov decided they wanted to play car dealer king and pick favorites.

Im happy for some of my collegues with new car stores but im less than thrilled that they are messing with the free market.

Why did they only offer this to "new" car deals?

Just this morning I talk to a guy who wanted to know what I would give him for his clunker and I cant touch what he is being offered with this program by the new car dealership and its not the first time thats killed a deal for me in the last week!

Am i the only one out there dealing with this??
J
cash for clunkers has done well for us, but its the biggest pain in the ass. i can go on and on and on about the issues with the program. At least it has been a success by driving more traffic.
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    Jon Groenig
  • July 29, 2009
Nick, don't worry when the money runs out the new car dealers will go back to sitting on their new inventory and making mini's, while the independent used car dealers are selling cars and making gross:)

I feel sorry for the guys that have deals done and the money is gone before they can collect. At that point the dealer is in a no win situation, unwind the car deal and piss off the customer or lose $4,500.
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Alex, spot on about keeping the cars money flowing. I am going in today (on my day off)to process C.A.R.S deals. EVERYONE please fill out the "optional survey" I have heard this will have impact on C.A.R.S. 2.0. Hmm...Can someone get Cardone to refresh the "Swallow Flame" motivational video and change it to a "Gov. Paperwork is fun" motivational video. Good Times!
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    Cindy S
  • July 29, 2009
As a customer . . . .How does the dealer think he can "unwind the car deal" after he has disable my engine with the govt approved solution.

My dealer told me that he would give me $100 to replace my vehicle if the govt doesn't deliver.

WHAT!!!
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    Jon Groenig
  • July 29, 2009
Call me a skeptic, but I think more than one dealer is going to be burned by this program before it is all said and done.

Someone mentioned cash flow before, let's say you did a great job like Checkered Flag, but when the money runs out you have 20 clunkers that you have destroyed that you are now unable to get funding on. That leaves the dealer with a loss of $70,000 to $90,000 in funds they will never recover and without the option to retail out of those 20 vehicles. I know of a lot of dealers that a loss like that could close their doors.
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Get in, get your deals, and get out. Don't expose your dealership to the very real potential of huge loses.
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    Stan Sher
  • July 30, 2009
I am so with Jon on this one. I have watched over the past few weeks car deals get written up under this program before the money was even officially planned to be released. I can see dealers easily lost $90,000 on this program because of how quickly they panicked to make deals.

Also, I was in a very affluent area where 70% of the buyers pay cash and can buy cars whenever they want. We are talking Princeton, NJ. What pisses me off is how these people have the money and can buy a new car at anytime that they want and get rid of their clunker. However, most of them wait for this program to come and take advantage of it. This program should have been created for the average American with certain guidelines.

This is another case of the rich stealing from the government. It is ridiculous.

Also, you would think that this clunker money would allow you to push for holding more gross on the new car. Well, it does not work. So if you want to make money, just sell used cars because it is where it's at.
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    Stan Sher
  • July 30, 2009
So this cash for clunkers program in my opinion will cause more problems then good. It is great for the customers that take advantage of it now right away. But the dealers that write these deals and cannot get the money are going to be losing a ton. I am willing to bet that there will be an average of $40-50k lost by dealerships. Remember, a lot of giveaway artists working as a sales people out there too. This is the main cause of profits lost in the first place.
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Alex- Can you tell me where in the 136page PDF titled "The Rule" that I can find where it said you have 7 days to report the deal? Ive read over it and cant seem to find it. Thanks.
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<b>Sam</b> - I'm sorry Sam. We misread that part. It looks like it is a first come / first serve basis on who gets the money with the only time restraint being to enter for approval before the program's expiration date.
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Government out of money....http://www.freep.com/article/20090730/BUSINESS01/90730081/Cash-for-clunkers-plan-suspended

Um....who's screwed with us? C'mon Congress - vote for more money!!!!
J
To Good To Be True ! Too Funny...We thought
we were on to something ! It sure created some excitement ! Many dealers spent lots of money promoting this c.a.r.s. thing.
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    Jon Groenig
  • July 30, 2009
Four days to run out of money, that sure lasted long. Go to the link Alex posted, here's an excerpt that I think will cause a majority of the problems

"But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration told dealers Wednesday that a vast majority of transactions submitted were being rejected for incomplete or illegible paperwork."

A vast majority, as in a vast majority of the dealers may not see their money. Remember this is the same government that encouraged Chrysler and GM shut down over 2000 dealerships without any consequences, do you really think the ones left really matter that much more to them?

Nick if you are still reading this, now aren't you glad you are on the used car side of the industry.
R
The goverment has found something that actually stimulates the economy and it's over? I don't think so...
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    Skip Shakely
  • July 31, 2009
Well this is proof that America runs on wheels. They should have stimulated the economy with this last yr and today we would probably be out of the woods in this economic slump. Look at all of the industry they would have affected and the jobs that would have been saved and created. As usual they should have left sales to the salespeople and kept the accountants and administrators out of it. Nothing happens until you sell something and until you do we don't need and accountant or administrator.
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Jon, Man am I ever.

Just goes to show you why you don't mess with a free market. Let it dictate itself.

Would not surprise me if they find a way to get more funding but I would expect to see the qualifications get pretty tight next time around.

Looking back on this (if its not to early to do so) this whole concept looks like it could make for a decent marketing plan. I.E. Ford/Chrysler advertises that they will take any "clunker" on trade for $4500 no questions asked, you just buy a new car from them. Looks to me like people bought into it. You already see commercials advertising that kind of money back not to mention most of these clunkers still have some sort of value so the dealers not out the whole $4500.

Thats what I would rather see is somebody taking that idea to market and running with it instead of my tax dollars paying for it..

Man I wish I had a bigger store to pull this off.
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    Jerry Thibeau
  • July 31, 2009
Looks like another 2 Billion up for grabs.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090731/ap_on_go_co/us_cash_for_clunkers
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HAS ANYONE HAD A DEAL FUNDED? A rejection would be better then pending at this time.
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    Jeff Kershner
  • August 2, 2009
I hear that if you're having difficulties submitting cash for clunkers transactions due to the system freezing, be sure to add attachments one at a time and hit APPLY after each one.

Also be sure to save the invoice using the save feature at the bottom of the page and do not attach any addendum until you save the invoice.

Adding all attachments at once is causing the system to freeze and time out.
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    Jeff Kershner
  • August 2, 2009
Be sure to check out all the Cash for Clunkers conversation happening over in the forums as well.

http://forum.dealerrefresh.com/f40/cash-clunkers-224-9.html
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    Gabi Patel
  • August 2, 2009
My fiance just bought a new car Tuesday morning July 28th, SIGNING A CONTRACT AND TAKING DELIVERY OF A NEW CAR trading a 1984 GM model that was manufactured in July, 1984. The dealer assured us that the car "qualified" for the $4500. He listed the trade as "cars program" $4500 on the purchase contract.

To our dismay, the dealer called on the evening of Friday Aug 1st saying he had bad news.....the car was disallowed by the gov't because of the 25 year limit.

What is going on here? The dealer sits on our paperwork for 4 days and misses the 25 year deadline? Can we make the dealer take the loss? We gave the dealer $7,000 and the clunker trade. The dealer let us drive off in a new car. We believe the dealer was negligent by not getting the clunker trade registered in a timely manner. Any help here would be appreciated. Thank You!
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Has anyone been funded ( approved ) for any clunker cash yet at all ? All of ours are still pending even though they said 3-4 business days. We couldnt even register until late last week on our GM franchises and didnt get our Chrysler reg code until yesterday ( Monday ).
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@Tim we have had deals submitted since last Tuesday and have only one rejection from a submission on Thursday night. It didn't have anything attached (don't ask)You can't change anything after submission till you get the rejection.I can't figure out what order they are processing these invoices? Back to the scanner for me :)
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    Debbie Johnson
  • August 4, 2009
If all the paperwork as been completed with a customer, all the way thru to financial approval, and the title has been signed over, is the dealership obligated to turn over possession of the new vehical while waiting for their funding? The clunker does qualify per the epa web comparison.
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@Debbie
That would be a Dealership call best I can figure. If your Dealer is o.k. with it let it roll. At this point I think most dealers are holding out till something more official comes down from the senate.
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<b>DEALERS' CLUNKER PAYMENTS START TODAY, FEDS SAY</B>

DOT chief: 'We fixed our Web site problems'

NEIL ROLAND
<b>AUTOMOTIVE NEWS</b>
AUGUST 4, 2009 - 12:28 PM ET

WASHINGTON -- Dealers will start getting reimbursed today for cash-for-clunkers credits paid to consumers, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood said today.

"We fixed our Web site problems," LaHood said at a news conference here. "We believe processing will go much smoother."

He said dealers had filed 157,000 applications for $664 million in rebates.

The company contracted to handle the Transportation Department's computer system is Oracle Corp. Clerical processing is being handled by Citigroup Inc.

Citigroup has added staff in Delaware to handle the surge of dealer applications. LaHood said he believed both companies have made changes to improve their response time but gave no details.

Dealers are supposed to get paid within 10 days after filing for a rebate of the $3,500 or $4,500 credits given to customers. Because of bottlenecks in the Transportation Department's computer reporting system, many dealers have had problems filing applications since the program began July 24. Many dealers had begun making deals weeks in advance, adding to the initial backlog problem.

If the Senate follows the House, which last week passed a $2 billion cash-for-clunkers extension, funding should be adequate through Labor Day, LaHood said.

The Senate is scheduled to begin a month-long recess Saturday.
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    Deb
  • August 5, 2009
Has anyone had an invoice returned without a rejection code? Are the rejection codes hidden? I would appreciate any help or insight!

Deb Letcher
Controller
Waconia Ford Mercury - Minnesota
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    Deb
  • August 5, 2009
Ok they email the rejection codes, figured that out. This entire program is nothing but a headache.
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    Heather
  • August 6, 2009
I have received 4 rejections and 24 are still under review. All 4 were rejected for items that we clearly supplied (proof of insurance, signatures, etc). I received code 0701 missing signature on Summary of Sale for all four. How do they not see it? Do they not look beyond the first page? I really need help, please.
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    DEB
  • August 7, 2009
I would love to help you but I resubmitted 2 on 8-5-09 and have not received any notification back. Mine were rejected for bogus reasons also. I called the NHTSA number
202.366.0606 6AM TO 4PM CST
202.510.7825 AFTER 4PM CST
they didn't know why either and told me to resubmit it. I did and we'll see what happens!
If I learn anything more I'll post it!
<b>Heather</b> - when you upload your attachments as one big attachment, you have to title the upload (not the actual file) "ALL ATTACHMENTS".
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    Jeff Kershner
  • August 9, 2009
"Cash For Clunkers- I have been paid" thread was just posted in the forums to start tracking some of the payments and to see how long it is taking. If you collect please post the date you submitted and if you had any rejections before hand.

http://forum.dealerrefresh.com/f40/cash-clunkers-i-have-been-paid-club-298.html
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    Cassie
  • August 9, 2009
I just had a car rejected and the reason for rejection was: NONE

Has anyone else experienced this problem? Please let me know if you have.
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    NIKI
  • August 9, 2009
Does someone have a list of the rejection codes? I saw it somewhere but can not find it.
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    Deb
  • August 10, 2009
I have a list but I would have to fax it if you still need it let me know!
you can email at [email protected]
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The reject codes can be found at the following link :

http://www.cars.gov/files/user-guide/Reject-Codes-Final.pdf
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    jeff
  • August 11, 2009
I have had 15 submissions since 7/29 and all are still under review. we stopped delivering cars as a result and have had two deals cancel as a result. Is anyone having any luck getting through on the hotline?
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    Deb
  • August 11, 2009
Yes we get through after redialing several times. Hang up and hit redial. They aren't much help though. They can't "look" at any of them. I've had 6 rejections and each of them for different reasons even though one of the reasons(not writing junk automobile, cars.gov on the back of the title page). I didn't do that on any of them but I've only had one of the 6 rejected because of it. I cant make any sense of it. I've had no approvals and I sent them about the same time.
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    DBW in CT
  • August 11, 2009
Wow! I now feel for my dealer (somewhat). My Dealer has cashed both my $500 deposit check AND the check we gave from our bank. We financed through our own institution. He has been paid in full according to the purchase order. We signed everything on 7/31 including signing over the title of our Jeep. I still don't have my 09 Altima. I believe this car should be mine and the dealer can wait for the Feds. I see the point that he potentially stands to lose a lot if even half of his deals fall through - but - maybe he stands to lose more if each and everyone of us walks away completely from the deals. Put the plates back on it and give me my Jeep back and give me a check along with the interest I've accrued and the deal is off. It's a lot to gamble. I just want my new car:-(
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    jeff
  • August 11, 2009
I finally got through by way of the consumer help line. It's good to know the folks that are getting the discounts are well taken care of, while the dealers hang out to dry. But, I spoke with a very nice person who, after pleading a little, tranferred me to a live dealer support person who, told me to expect delays. Thank you so much for that tidbit....
However, at least i know (or do I) that 13 days under review is not uncommon. It will be fun telling my boss that after two weeks they couldn't read the registration date, or something fun like that.
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    TWO Weeks and Still Waiting
  • August 11, 2009
We waited for our dealer to sign up for CARS on 7/24. He submitted our deal on 7-28. Two weeks later we are still waiting to take delivery of the new car. Dealer says the deal is still under review by govt. We can pick up the new car if we write him a check for the CARS voucher amount. Govt sure didn't think this thru
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    Same Here
  • August 12, 2009
Same here, we bought a car on 7/24 and dealer submitted CARS paperwork on 7/29 -- still waiting on the new car too. Really frustrated with the slow paperwork. Wish there was a way to check status besides calling the dealer every other day.
I cannot vouch for other dealers, but I can tell you that we and none of our competitors are making customers wait to take delivery of their cars under this program. It sounds like these dealerships being mentioned here are either paranoid or don't have the cash to float any deals - either way, they shouldn't be participating in the program.

I think the NHTSA would be quite upset to hear about some of the practices I'm hearing. There are extremely stiff repercussions for those who don't play by the rules.

Dealers who don't play by the rules piss me off because they hurt our entire industry's reputation (and I'm not just talking about the CARS Program here).
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    Deb
  • August 12, 2009
What rules? Not only was it tough to get the rules from NHTSA at the beginning, but they've changed so many times since the inception of this horror story it's impossible to keep up. I don't blame dealers for not delivering their new vehicles until the money is assured and I do feel bad for the consumer, but our hands are tied by the government. Perhaps some of us don't have the confidence in our government's promises as others do.
As a foot note: It has nothing to do with "floating the cash" it has everything to do with getting the cash.
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    jeff
  • August 12, 2009
14 days of mystery. I feel like charlie and when I get that golden ticket, i'm goin' to that chocolate factory, grabbing as many ever-lasting gobstoppers I can. Oh yeah, I'll sell'em to Slugworth...he pays up front, with no attachments necessary.
<b>Deb</b> - the rules are actually some of the most clearly defined pieces of government language I've ever read. Some things have been amended, but they've remained fairly constant since July 29th. And I have to say that for the short amount of time the NHTSA has had to put this together they've actually done a fairly decent job.

It is purely American to lash out against the government (that's what made us America in the first place), but our government doesn't do everything wrong. Yes, the CARS Program has been hell for all of us. The fact that only a few have seen a dime is disheartening. But this is all the cost of doing business under the program. If you can't stomach the costs, then don't do the program - it is really that simple.
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    Andrea
  • August 12, 2009
@ Alex Snyder - VERY well said Alex. I was surprised at how clear the government language was too! If you don't feel comfortable doing the deals, then do not participate. It is only fair for everyone involved in this game. Very well said!
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    Deb
  • August 12, 2009
Alex-
First and foremost this is not a political blog, I was only trying to convey the dealerships loss potential. The 3 billion dollars available doesn't mean anything unless it's paid out. Many consumers are only aware there has been more money allocated, not the fact that none of it has been gauranteed.
Consumers need to know - IT IS NOT THE DEALERSHIP - creating the havoc. We are trying to do business and keep our customers loyalty and trust.
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    jeff
  • August 12, 2009
@deb
and that's tough to do when the buyers are only aware of the fact that they are compliant with the program, and that this money was in danger of running out once, why not again? oh well, though. we wouldn't have the business without the program, and it sure is nice having something to do again....
A
Because this program was completely voluntary for the dealership to participate, I agree with Alex.

This was posted today at the CARS.GOV consumer website :

We’ve also heard that dealers are asking consumers are asking consumers to keep their “clunker” until the deal is approved by NHTSA.

IF THE DEALER HAS THE NEW CAR IN STOCK, THE DEALER MUST ALLOW YOU TO TAKE POSSESSION OF THE NEW CAR BEFORE THE DEALER MAY SUBMIT THE CREDIT APPLICATION TO THE GOVERNMENT. PLEASE REPORT ANY DEALER TO NHTSA THAT DOES NOT ALLOW YOU TO TAKE POSSESSION OF A NEW CAR PURCHASED UNDER THE CARS PROGRAM. PLEASE CALL THE CARS HOTLINE AT (866) CAR-7861.
<b>Deb</b> - I've got a pretty good understanding of what Dealer Refresh is about, and that statement wasn't political.

I know I come across as a hard-ass sometimes, but that is because I try to speak to the readership as a whole and whomever I am responding to.

I can tell you're very frustrated by the program and I feel for you. We can all help each other by posting our experiences (as dealers) but I get upset when I see customers not being treated fairly. The VADA (Virginia Automobile Dealers Association) provided VA dealers with addendum statements for customers to sign that stated the dealer was not liable for the rebate money - the customer is. With this contractual agreement VA dealers have been able to conduct sales as usual without taking away from the customer experience.

Now I'm going to get political: The original bill was for $10 Billion. It was proposed by the democrats who have a majority in each legislative house along with the executive branch. Other countries with less citizens have funded these same programs with more money. This is being toted as the most successful piece of the economic recovery plan yet and is 100% attributable to the democrats - do you really think they're going to let this thing back fire?
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    TWO Weeks and Still Waiting
  • August 12, 2009
It's my understanding that the "addendum statement for customers to sign that stated the dealer was not liable for the rebate money" – the customer is required to provide the dealer with a check for the CARS rebate which the dealer will cash until the govt money comes. NOTHING said about how the customer gets the CARS $$$ back. I'm buying NEW only because of the CARS program. I'm not writing another check.
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    Andrea
  • August 12, 2009
Hey 2 weeks...looks like they cannot do that to you, per the program. Read the FAQ on the cars.gov site...just posted today :)
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    jeff
  • August 12, 2009
well, doesn't this little snafu with contigiency forms create a little havoc wit hthe dealers that use them. this is AWESOME.
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    Andrea
  • August 12, 2009
Jeff, hopefully consumers will learn and educate themselves that respectable Dealers follow the laws. Consumers will remember that in the future ;)
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    jeff
  • August 12, 2009
Well, this takes so much heat off of me. i am so sick of customers telling me that they would have their cars in "2 or 3 days" according to their salesperson. I've been the bearer of bad tidings all week, and I know it's going to hurt back end profits because I'm the bad guy. BUT NO MORE, I SAY ;)
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    Deb
  • August 12, 2009
MADA has the same form, however there are still no gaurantees.
Political:
How does a bill designed to decrease emissions and "global warning" become toted as a most successful economic recovery plan? It was a fluke, no one in either branch thought this through and certainly no one expected this kind of response.
The failure of the program is dependent on the amount of money left, not the democrats, republicans or Obama for that matter.
<b>Deb</b> - I guess we'll just have to wait for history to say what it was.
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    jeff
  • August 12, 2009
has anyone personally killed an engine? i recommend it highly, it reduces stress, and it's a freakin' blast!!!!
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    Deb
  • August 12, 2009
Thanks for the lighter note! And yes we will just have to wait and see how this all ends up. I'm hopeful this will end with a glass of champagne in hand and all of our customers ecstatic with their purchases!
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    Same Here
  • August 12, 2009
This forum has been more helpful and considerate than any other I have seen on the CARS program.

THANKS!
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    Same Here
  • August 12, 2009
This is great info on the fact dealer should NOT hold the new car http://www.autonews.com/article/20090812/ANA05/908129958/1078
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    KBL
  • August 12, 2009
Hitting refresh hoping to see one approved is getting old, hundreds burning gas, millions in liability and only 5 paid so far.

The paid ones just show up in the account without any documentation, we have to guess what deal it belongs to? (of course with only 5 paid it is easy to guess :( )

We have several stores that have not recieved a dime yet and many deals are from July.
Reading Automotive news, they only have 300 reviewers, that means aprox 2500 per reviewer. do the math... I have not slept right in days... It's like the month end that never ends at the stores, but we are more anxious with every delivery, instead of happy.
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    Deb
  • August 13, 2009
Is anyone trying to delete their incorrect attachments? 3 of the 5 I was able to actually submit after deleting the bad and adding the good but for some reason now I can't get to the submit screen, I get a fatal error message. Think it's a computer glitch? I sent them an email at the address that was listed with NADA, I believe yesterday, but who knows how long it will be before I get a response. Anyone just adding the new and not doing anything with the old?
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    Mindy
  • August 13, 2009
Hi Deb... I have been having the same problem. I was not able to speak with anyone at the CARS.gov phone number that could help... I also sent numerous emails... I ended up cancelling the entire invoice the submitting a completely new invoice for the sale... I am not sure it will fly but could not figure out how else to get it submitted with all the necessary attachments... So, not sure if my advice helps or not...
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    Deb
  • August 13, 2009
Nice to hear someone else is having the same issues. Did you delete the entire original invoice then?
Really appreciate the input!
K
Only seems to work with IE 8, weird.
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    Mindy
  • August 13, 2009
Misery luv's company...lol I did delete the entire invoice and created a new invoice. If you have difficulty deleting an invoice, you can send an email to the following bizarre email address:

[email protected]

In the subject line, write "Premature Rejection Request"... Include your info and the invoice number and the reason(s) you would like the invoice to be rejected... My experience is they are quick to get it thrown out of their que and back at ya... Once you get the transaction kicked back, you actually have to cancel it... You will find the cancel option is now enabled... That's what I did today so who knows... FYI, I did get a phone number other than the one listed on the CARS.gov site... I was told that it went directly into the department where the invoices are being processed... the phone number is (202) 366-0606. I was told there are people answering that number that actually work on the invoices and are there from 7am-6pm... I was not able to get thru today so I plan to try at 7am when it shouldn't be so busy... good luck and try to keep the faith... Mindy
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    Deb
  • August 13, 2009
THANKS A LOT!!!
Also, I have an additional phone number for you. The one you gave me is for hours 6am-4pm CST, 202.510.7825 AFTER 4PM. If that helps?! I've actually spoken to people at that number but they couldn't help much. When I called they did not have the ability to "look" at the invoices.
Good Luck!!!
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    Deb
  • August 13, 2009
Thanks Keith! However I am using IE8, perhaps I should go back to trying Mozilla, an option I hadn't thought of.
If you're hung-up on the CARS.gov website, take a quick minute to fill out this Dealer Refresh survey on the environmental impact Cash for Clunkers has had:

http://www.dealerrefresh.com/cash-for-clunkers-environmental-impact/

Once we feel we have a big enough set of data, we will submit the findings for press releases. SO - DEALERS! >>make sure you do this because it could be a great opportunity for some media exposure and/or SEO exposure to your website!
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    Deb
  • August 13, 2009
Mozilla doesn't work at all!! Don't try it.
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    Deb
  • August 13, 2009
I was able to correct them at 9:50pm CST. They flew through. I deleted and added the correct attachments in no time.
Mindy - I really appreciate your help!
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    jeff
  • August 14, 2009
Day 16....no money, no approvals. The only thing to shade us from the sun is to huddle "under review". There will come a day in the not so distant future where we will have to pose the question:
In order to survive, do we eat those who did not make it this far?
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    Deb
  • August 14, 2009
I just got a response from NHTSA:
If you need to send a corrected attachment, do not delete or update the attachment. Just add the new attachment, and name the scanned file on your computer ‘REVISEDTITLE.pdf’ for example. You will be submitting with additional documents, and that is okay.
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    Mindy
  • August 14, 2009
Hi Deb... Sounds good but after you submit an invoice and it's in "review mode" lol the attachment function is disables... Are you having the same prob????
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    Ken
  • August 15, 2009
Has anyone been paid for clunkers that have a registration period with a 1 to 5 day gap between renewal? I've had a rejection for not providing co buyers state ID even though its not required.
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Ken, my understanding of the registration and insurance requirements pertaining to lapse in coverage via an email to that crazy email address is they simply don't qualify. If you have a one day break it won't qualify even if your state has a 10 day grace period for the registration. We had some confusion with this on our early deals. Example: customer brings in registration for one year from oct. 2009 to oct. 2008 but they bought in July so they need July to July but for whatever reason they were late paying their registration in Sept. and let the tags expire for 3 days. That is why I keep stressing to our sales staff that they should sit down and review all documents with the customer and use that time to interview and ask these questions. I think the letter from the insurance company is a better idea then looking back at a bunch of dates on insurance cards to minimize confusion.
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    jeff
  • August 17, 2009
thank goodness this isn't my money. I'm starting to feel bad for the owner of my dealership....
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    Deb
  • August 17, 2009
I haven't had any problems resubmitting when they've been rejected. I can't however change anything when they're in the "under review" mode. I just keep waiting for the reject notices, impossible to be proactive.
I wonder if they're doing sweeps of some sort. I haven't gotten any rejections for reg issues, and I had some customers who hadn't renewed prior to the 10 day grace period(MN).
That makes me think I'm going to get another batch of rejects....oh what fun.
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    jeff
  • August 17, 2009
Deb-
this is from my state's nada FAQ
Two Ways to Cancel a Deal

You use the “Cancel” button to cancel a deal that has not been submitted or that has been rejected.
To cancel something that is in review, please e‑mail this unwieldy address [email protected] from the e‑mail account that was used to register with the site. In the subject field type in “cancel” and follow that with the invoice number.
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    Bob Jr.
  • August 17, 2009
So I went into a dealership on August 7th with the expectations of buying a used vehicle. The dealership noticed what my old car was and said that it would be eligible for the C4C. So, with that in mind, I looked at the new cars and settled on a brand new vehicle. This was a Chrysler dealership where they doubled the “rebate”. So I dropped off my clunker, signed all the paperwork with the loan, etc. I didn’t however, sign a contingency document. Today I received a phone call saying that they need to have my new vehicle returned because it turns out I wasn’t eligible due to the insurance part. Even though I gave them everything, I had a lapse of insurance and it means that my vehicle was not eligible and they want to reverse the transaction. Is that possible? I wasn’t aware of exactly what the C4C guidelines were and they said they would “walk me through it” so I understood.. Can someone shed a little light on what to do here?
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    jeff
  • August 17, 2009
Bob-
according the c.a.r.s. website, a dealer cannot require that you return the car and reverse the transaction if the application for the credit is non-compliant. HOWEVER! One of the necessary forms to sumbit to the government is called a "Summary of Sale and cerification" form. If you signed it, you are certifying to the NHTSA that you are compliant with the program, including having continuous insurance for 1 full year prior to purchase. This form is signed, deemed too be true under penalty of law. Simply put, the dealer has the ability to come after you, because you are not compliant with the law. in addition, you signed a form certifying you are in compliance with the program. I would do exactly what the dealer asks and start over perhaps with another dealer. We are all supposed to know the law, and having a car salesman tell you everything is cool when it's not is a pretty dumb mistake that could get you into serious trouble for fraud.
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    Nicole
  • August 17, 2009
I am a customer that had to cancel a deal due to dealer mistakes. I need them to cancel my invoice out of the database so I can start fresh. They said they can't. What do I do?? I am very frustrated with this and I feel the dealer just does not want me to move on.
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    Jon Groenig
  • August 18, 2009
Is it just me or does this look like it is turning into an ongoing PR nightmare for dealers? Most of the problems lie on the government end and the dealers are the scapegoat, just my observation of customers involved in this thread. People on the industry side of this know for a fact that the last thing a dealer ever wants to do is call back a customer with an issue after a vehicle has been delivered, so you know before the call is made they have made every effort to find a loophole to get around the problem.
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    Jon Groenig
  • August 18, 2009
So Alex, how many cars have you taken in on the program and how many have you been paid on? I know you guys started earlier than most on this program, so I am sure you have a staggering number of cars lining your back lot.
<b>Jon</b> - we were finally paid for a deal. Which means we are almost at 3% being funded.
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    jeff
  • August 18, 2009
nicole-
To cancel something that is in review, please e‑mail this unwieldy address [email protected] from the e‑mail account that was used to register with the site. In the subject field type in “cancel” and follow that with the invoice number.
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    jeff
  • August 18, 2009
alex-
were you actually paid, or approved for a deal?
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    Michael
  • August 18, 2009
I have had deals pending review since July 30th that have still not been looked at. Is this normal?
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    jeff
  • August 18, 2009
according to the deeler support group at nhtsa, it is. we have 0 rejections, and 0 approvals dating back to the 28th. The big fear is having 3 week old submissions rejected, only to start the waiting game again...
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    John Quinn
  • August 18, 2009
I function as the CARS Czar for a large dealership -- we've submitted over 200 invoices and have been successful with 14 so far -- none currently in rejection status. Dealers who are worried about submissions being rejected need to adopt the following philosophy: Make it Simple! Do not give the Auditors an opportunity to reject the deal. In my role as the Czar here, I eyeball all the paperwork before we sign-off on it -- while the customer is still here. And it's very simple: if it's not perfect, the deal doesn't get done! Now at first, we had some miffed Sales Managers, but after sending them back a dozen times to re-write sloppy deals, get better copies of insurance, etc., they got the picture. I will then literally spell-it-out for the auditors on the copies before I scan them: "Insurance Page 1 of 3: Qualifying Date," "Current Reg, Title Date of Issue 5-14-95, Please see title above." Spell it out for them and make it easy: pretend you are sumbitting documents to 10-year-olds who need all the help they can get! This is truly an area foreign to us car people: we really need to slow-down to speed-up. Last tip: if you haven't actually read the checklist, take 25 minutes and ingest it thoroughly. It really is an A-B-C approach to submitting vouchers and gaining approvals -- another instance where simply slowing-down and taking 25 minutes will save you days or even weeks in the future.
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    jeff
  • August 18, 2009
I don't think I'm too worried about accuracy of the submissions. It's the horror stories of errors without codes, inconsistent approvals, and the like. Human error will take place in some circumstances, but it's impossible to know that you've made a mistake when you are under review for weeks without any indication that you've done something right or wrong. I know of 4 dealers within 5 miles of my place that have pulled out of the prgram due to lack of supporting funds. I can't remember a more ironic situation in 20 years of doing this. Stimulating the auto industry by making dealers front billions of dollars. Very frustrating.
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    Lori Finney
  • August 18, 2009
Question for the Car Czar - the Clunker Queen at mid-size Nissan Suzuki store. I have a question for you... Many employees and man hours would you estimate are tied up in submiting 200 invoices. We have 65 deals "on the street" and if we get even close to caught up Friday/Satuday sales just put us back in the weeds on submission. Not to mention as you said not collecting all paperwork up front.

Just curious... How payments have you guys seen?
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    John Quinn
  • August 19, 2009
Hi Clunker Queen :) I haven't checked yet this morning, but 14 so far. We really got "caught-up" last week -- after we put July to bed. Submission is taking less time now -- we scan all documents in order into one PDF titled All_Documents_Attached per the NHTSA-NADA webinar on 8-3-09, and the site is working fine. With necessary docs going "upstairs" labled like I mentioned, we basically have a "scanner" and a "submitter" and are able to keep-up with new deals as they arrive. If your paperwork is in order, from scan to "submit," plan on 30 minutes or so for each one.
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    clunkertx
  • August 19, 2009
so i havent had my car for up to a year, let alone on insurance; is there NO WAY i can get rid of it??
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    John Quinn
  • August 20, 2009
You can negotiate a traditional trade-in at your dealership. But given the information above, you are not eligible to participate in the CARS program at this time -- and attemts to participate can net you some serious legal trouble.
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    Waiting Wendy
  • August 20, 2009
I have been waiting for the paperwork to get approved since Aug.12, but the dealership did tell me that it would be at least two weeks. I was hoping that it would be sooner.
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    Clay Campfield
  • August 21, 2009
Can anyone log on to the cars.gov site?
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    John Quinn
  • August 21, 2009
Not for 90 minutes.
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    Clay Campfield
  • August 21, 2009
OK, thanks! Sucks but good to know its just not me!
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    Sheri Layton
  • August 22, 2009
I recently partipcated in the program, having all my documentation in order. Two years worth of insurance, two years registration, yada yada. While putting my papers away, I realize that my insurance had actually lapsed by two days. I had switched companies. I cannot believe I did not remember and did not catch this...but worse..why didn't the dealer catch it? What do I need to do now? How much trouble will I be in and I hope to god my clunker hasn't been destroyed!
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    jeff
  • August 22, 2009
Sheri,
if the lapse was within the last twelve months the govt is supposed to reject the application for the money. it would be smart to let the dealer know immediately, and find out if they were accidently paid for it. doubtful, but you could get lucky. otherwise, the dealer will be just as eager to resolve this issue, so i would call them right away.
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    joel
  • August 22, 2009
Hi, I am a customer and have just returned from out of town. Last weekend my girlfriend and went out shopping for the CARS program. I had done a lot of homework prior to going to the dealers and knew her car qualified along with her paperwork and various other facets of the program. While away, she panicked due to the new deadline and went out and cut the deal on her own. The dealer has violated the rules of the program and made her take her clunker home attempting to wait for approval and/or payment. The website clearly states that they are to release the new car before sending form to CARS. She signed the title of the clunker over to them, got financing, gave a 13k downpayment, and has no car to show for it. We are going to go there today and I will confront them on this and if the new car is not given, then I will threaten reporting them to NHTSA, CARS.gov, and my state's attorney general's office. She has a P/A signed by them. Is there any other advice that I could receive before going down there.
Thank you ahead of time!
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    Jeff Kershner
  • August 22, 2009
@joel - Sounds like you have taken the right measures. If the dealer was unsure of receiving their payment from the gov then they should have not written the deal.

As I have said before over in the forums "Cash for Clunkers is bringing the dirty out of many dealers....It's almost like the government has written a ticket for dealers to (basically forced to) play their old school tricks again."

"IF THE DEALER HAS THE NEW CAR IN STOCK, THE DEALER MUST ALLOW YOU TO TAKE POSSESSION OF THE NEW CAR BEFORE THE DEALER MAY SUBMIT THE CREDIT APPLICATION TO THE GOVERNMENT. PLEASE REPORT ANY DEALER TO NHTSA THAT DOES NOT ALLOW YOU TO TAKE POSSESSION OF A NEW CAR PURCHASED UNDER THE CARS PROGRAM. PLEASE CALL THE CARS HOTLINE AT (866) CAR-7861."
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    joel
  • August 22, 2009
@Jeff,
Thank you for your follow-up and support. That text from the Dealer part of the CARS.gov site is exactly what I am going to present to them first. Wish us luck!
-Joel
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    joel
  • August 22, 2009
@Jeff,
Just a follow-up on the situation with that dealership. They attempted to claim that they were submitting for approvals first and then later would be submitting for the rebate monies. I told them that that is not how I understand how it works from all the research I had done on the CARS.gov website from both the consumer and dealer sides. From what I understand is that it is one form/one filing. You apply for the program and it is both for approval and the rebate. I then said that the rebate money is between them and the gov't as they tried to claim that the girlfriend would have to sign an agreement to pay back the money if rejected by CARS.gov. I told them that they cannot force her to do that. If she wanted to agree to that, then that is her perogative, but it is not a part of the program. You make the sale, deliver the vehicle, submit to the program, that's it! I then was told that I would have to speak with the mgr, but not too long after the sales person came back and stated that the mgr was 10 deep and stated the they would P/D the car for delivery Monday evening - so they knew I had done my homework and gave in. Hopefully, she will take delivery Monday night (I will be there, too) without any added tricks. I did not get to the point of stating the I would be reporting them to the various factions I noted earlier. It is unfortunate how many other consumers this dealership has pulled this off on. There were many vehicles there with the "Sold" sticker on them, but not as many "clunkers" there (could have scrapped many already). But, it could be that others have challenged them and the been delivered the vehicle, but many don't even know what is happening to them. I am still debating on reporting them even after she receives delivery on Monday. I was not rude or insulting in any manner, just had done my homework and therefore had plenty information as my weapon against their lies.
Thanks again,
Joel
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    Shirley
  • August 22, 2009
I signed a deal for a car back on July 31. My old vehicle has been owned and insured by myself since 1997 with absolutely no lapses in insurance or registration.
My dealer WILL NOT release any cars under the program until they get paid. I called the cars hotline and was told that they were only collecting information and weren't really doing anything against the dealers at all.
She kept saying that the dealer would be paid in 10 days. She didn't say whether the 10 days started when I signed the deal or after the rebate was approved. I tried to get it clear, but she just kept stating the program was designed for payment within 10 days.
So, here I am 22 days later, still waiting for my vehicle. I also still have my clunker. I'm worried that somehow my deal will eventually become invalid and I will have to start all over with a 13 year old car with over 218,000 miles that won't get my any kind of trade in value like this program.
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    Jon Groenig
  • August 23, 2009
This is a great example of why the government should stay out of the car business or any private business. Dealers are basically fronting the government thousands of dollars, the government isn't paying out in a timely manner, and of course the dealers get to take crap from everybody, no wonder dealers started walking away from this well thought out program.

And let's not forget the best part, the low income people in our nation get screwed again. I hear daily from customers how they can't believe how many really nice cars are being destroyed in this program, you guys taking these vehicles in know what I am talking about. This program has also driven prices up at the auctions, because instead of taking in a trade in that can be retailed they are sending them to the wreckers, so now dealers are fighting to stock up their lots, which in turn raises prices, screwing our lower income citizens again.
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    chris
  • August 23, 2009
I recently traded in a "clunker" for a new car. The CT Dealership told me what I needed (title, past two registrations, insurance card and letter from Agent stating coverage last year). I supplied these. We completed paperwork including a contract , loan, and temp. registration. (they said could not print final reg. as system was down). I asked if everyting was in order. They say "yes, and if we find any issues that will be our problem. Once you drive off we are done". I signed over my title too. I then drove home with the car. They call the next day and say that there was laps in my registration that they just noticed. I do not recall any but they say DMV insists and they want the car back. There was no conditional clause in the contract and just states $4500 trade in. Can they do this? They are saying that they can do this and will refuse to now register the car (lucky for them their system was down). I do have the temp but only good for 2 weeks. Doesn't issuing the temp imply they are bound to put through a "real" registration? Would that be a breach of contract? Also, if my registration did, in fact, have a laps (not sure how but anything is possible) does that play into things even if there was no condition stated or signed on the contract, nor “Summary of Sale and cerification” form signed? Lastly, if I do have to give the car back am I liable for mileage driven (when I left the dealership I went on a weekend vacation driving 400 miles each way!! I wanted to get used to the car as well as break it in)
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    John Quinn
  • August 23, 2009
Long story short, if the dealer is saying that you are not eligible because of a lapse in registration, it means that you need to either return the vehicle or reimburse the dealer for the voucher amount. If you are not elibible for the program, then the dealer has every legal right to pursue you for the return of the vehicle or for reimbursement. All that "other" stuff is irrelevant.
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    chris
  • August 23, 2009
Thanks! I did call an attorney just to see where I stand. He said that since I had a signed contract, and loan contract, with no mention of contingency and I had signed no paper saying I was guaranteeing that I was eligible it was very bad on the dealership's part (for them) to make the deal, and sign all paperwork. And since there is a registration fee on there he said they could not refuse to register it. He did say that to be sure he wanted to see the paperwork but that based on what he heard, in CT the car is mine if I choose to force the issue. The documents I submitted were all original and the fact that they missed what the DMV claims is the renewal date is their ultimate responsibility (because they went ahead and finalized the deal, including delivery). I do have a cancelled check showing renewal on time but, per the dealership, that does not count - only what is on the registration and what DMV says. That said, I am not trying to be a jerk about this. If I really did have a laps (still TBD) I think the right thing to do would be to work out a deal in which it is fair for all parties, as opposed to "punishing" the dealership for less than quality practices. Maybe that the $4,500 minus the blue book value of my trade and then split that with them? Justlooking to find a way we can all live with this mess.
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    chris
  • August 23, 2009
btw- when I say "what he heard" I mean what he heard from me as to the facts, not that he is basing his opinion on "what he heard" elsewhere as to the law.
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    Jon Groenig
  • August 23, 2009
I am glad the government is out of the car business tomorrow, I wonder what kind of losses the dealers will be left with when this is all over. I am sure everybody on the car business side has noticed how all the customers feel the dealers are the assholes in all this, when most of the problems are on the government end or from lack of truthfulness from customers.

Customers need to realize the dealer is on their side in all of this, if there is any way possible to keep them in the car they will bend over backwards to make it happen. I can assure you they don't want a new car back with miles on it, scratches, dings, or stains.
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    Lori Finney
  • August 23, 2009
What customers are not realizing is they are in fact signing paperwork that states that they have provided correct paperwork and they qualify for the program. It is not the dealers responsibilty alone to determine that. All consumers should have been asked to signed a certification sheet provided by the cars programs (not made up the dealer) when the deal is done. This paperwork states you agree UNDER PENALTY OF LAW that you have met the qualifications including the 12 months of insurance and registration. If the consumer signs this paperwork and doesn't have the 12 months of registration how is that the dealers fault?
The dealer REALLY would prefer to have the deal done and each consumer driving the new cars but if they can not get the money because of a fact that they did not know when the deal was done then the consumer must take responsiblity for the paperwork they signed.
Did you signed the deal certification from the CARS system? If so, you stated that you had 12 months insurance and registration. If you didn't and it was not on the paperwork you provided how was the dealer to know...?
C
  • C
    chris
  • August 24, 2009
I did not sign any certification. The dealer looked at all of my original paperwork and said everything was fine. They then later said they thoguht there was a problem since my last registration showed it started less than 2 years before the expiration date (registrations are 2 years here). I have a cancelled check showing I paid DMV well before expiration of the prior but that is still about 6 months before the "start date" they printed on the new one. The dealer said that this would cause CFC denial. I do not know why the discrepancy but also don't know why this was brought up after they closed the deal and had me drive away. Again, I am NOT saying the dealers are assholes (just using the term from a post above), just that they said everything was fine, and that if any issue arose that I would absolutley not be involved - then changed their story. I do want things to work out and hope this is all in error. If not, as I said above, I will try to seek a mutually acceptable solution. In the event the car does go back, I will do everything in my power to make sure there are no scratches, dings or stains (also from a post above).
F
  • F
    Finally got mine!
  • August 24, 2009
Chris - I used the CARS program to purchase a new car. I'm not a dealer, but I agree with everything the dealers have said here. You must submit all of the paperwork and it must meet the requirements OR you DO NOT qualify.

You may be able to clear this this up with a call to your DMV. The dealer CAN'T do this for you. I had my 2007 &amp; 2009 registration card, but not my 2008 card. I had read all of the CARS info and knew it would be a problem when a dealer submitted the paperwork. I proactively called the DMV [at the state level] and they were more than happed to fax me a letter stating that my registration was in effort for the full time with no lapses. Problem solved - both for the dealer and for myself.

You are responsible for ensuring the paperwork is correct. If you are sure there was no lapse (I was positive of it) YOU can probably correct this with a phone call and make both yourself and the dealer very happy.
J
  • J
    John Quinn
  • August 24, 2009
"Finally Got Mine" is absultely spot-on, as is Lori Finney. But now it's a question of "time." Dealers have until 8:00PM Eastern tonight to submit valid claims. If the dealership spotted and lapse in registration and could not submit the original voucher, and the issue cannot be corrected in the next couple of hours, then there's little hope a voucher will be granted.
J
  • J
    jeff
  • August 24, 2009
Chris-
without a signed certification form the dealer cannot submit for reimbursement. the form is called a Summary of Sale and Certification form. If you signed it, you are certifying under penalty for fraud that you meet all the criteria for the program. You may want to bring that up to your lawyer. The dealer is not required to verify all docs are compliant, they are only required to submit your documents to the govt for review and hopefully approval. Not only is the dealer within their right to cancel or reverse your sale, they are REQUIRED to report any and all fraud. I would talk to the dealer and forward the entire law, which is available on the cars website, to your attorney.
J
  • J
    jeff
  • August 24, 2009
can anyone get on the submission site?
A
DealerRefresh realizes that a whole lot of consumers (more than the those who are leaving comments here) are finding this thread. We just want to say that you should not be confused by the NHTSA's claim that the program ends at 8:00 PM EST today because that does not mean dealers will be taking your Clunker deal till that time. 8:00 PM EST is the time dealers have to have everything reported in order to make sure you receive your rebate. It takes time to process these transactions and we are already seeing the system crash again. Most dealers ARE NOT accepting anymore deals at this time - be sure to check with yours before visiting.

Within the Checkered Flag Auto Group our mileage varies by store:

BMW, MINI, smart, Jaguar, Audi, Porsche: not accepting anymore.

Hyundai &amp; Volkswagen: only accepting till 2:00 PM EST.

Toyota, Scion, and Honda: accepting till 5:00 PM EST.
K
West Herr Auto Group in Buffalo, stopped taking deals at midnight on Saturday.
Full Staff Sunday and Today, just to register the deals.
Government Site Down again for registration since 11:30am.. No Stress!!!!!
J
  • J
    jeff
  • August 24, 2009
only two left to do, but no website is frightening...
K
  • K
    KP
  • August 24, 2009
368 Deals in...1 to go. Waiting for the stupid site to get back up and running so I can submit our last deal and go home.
J
  • J
    jeff
  • August 24, 2009
amen kp
C
  • C
    chris
  • August 24, 2009
Yes, I am working closely VERY with my dealer. I am not looking to screw anyone over and am just trying to make sure everyone is happy with the outcome. They did indicate that they were also working with DMV and will supply me a "hotline" number to call. I did not sign any "Summary of Sale and Certification" so it sounds like that is an issue that will prevent them from submitting even if the registration is cleared up! Not good! I guess all of this then becomes a moot point and we will have to work towards a mutually acceptable outcome. Really, the difference between the book value of my trade and the $4,500 isn't THAT much, so the gap is all we will have to agree on handling, I would think. As for FRAUD, there is nothing that I did that would qualify. All documents I supplied were original. I did not sign anything that was not accurate either. The only reason I even checked with a lawyer is to know where I stand IF things get very ugly. It is NOT my intention to use any potential loophole of how this deal transpired to "pull a fast one". I just subscribe to the principal of "hope for the best, plan for the worst". Just like dealers are pointing out that they are not the bad guy, please understand that not all consumers are bad guys either.
J
  • J
    jeff
  • August 24, 2009
totally understood, but i'm just stressing the facts. The govt is not holding dealers liable for non-compliant paperwork. and if you didn't sign a sale summary form, you don't have a cars deal anyway. sounds like the dealer will have to take your car in trade for market value or nobody wins.
L
  • L
    LIZ
  • August 24, 2009
I WENT TO MY LOCAL DEALERSHIP ON SUN. AUG 2ND TO TRADE IN MY 1994 FORD EXPLORER UNDER THE CARS PROGRAM. THE DEALERSHIP SUBMITTED ALL MY PAPERWORK ON MON. AUG 3RD AND IM STILL WAITING TO HEAR IF I WAS APPROVED. I HAD MY DAD COME WITH ME TO TALK TO THE DEALER THAT FOLLOWING WEEK TO SEE WHAT WAS TAKING SO LONG AND THEY SAID THERE STILL WAITING. THIS DEALERSHIP ALSO WILL NOT LET YOU LEAVE WITH THE NEW CAR UNTIL YOU ARE APPROVED AND THE REFUND IS AT THE DEALERSHIP. MY FEAR IS THAT I WAIT ALL THIS TIME AND THEY REJECT ME AND I DONT GET THE NEW CAR. I KNOW ALL MY DOCUMENTS THAT I SENT IN WERE ALL SET AND I HAVE NO LAPSE ON ANYTHING. BUT I NEED THIS NEW CAR BEFORE THE SNOW COMES BECAUSE MY 94' FORD EXPLORER WILL NOT BE SAFE TO KEEP DRIVING. LITTLE THINGS ARE STARTING TO BREAK DOWN AND I HAVE 2 SMALL CHILDREN AND I NEED THEM IN A SAFER CAR. IS THERE ANY OTHER CUSTOMERS WHO ARE STILL WAITING TO GET THERE NEW CAR. PLEASE LET ME KNOW I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE.
J
  • J
    jeff
  • August 24, 2009
liz
the dealer is required to let you take possession of your new vehicle. they cannot send you home without it. if you signed all of your paperwork and you are positive you meet the requirements they have to give you your vehicle.
also, if they sent you home in your "clunker", they are in violation of the rules of the program and you can report them. they have to have the "clunker" in their possession before thay can submit the application.
L
  • L
    LIZ
  • August 24, 2009
JEFF,
THATS EXACTLY WHAT MY FATHER TOLD THEM WHEN WE WENT DOWN TO THE DEALERSHIP BUT THE GUY WHO IS DOIGN THE PAPERWORK ON THE CASH FOR CLUNKER DEALS TOLD US THAT IT REALLY IS UP TO THE DEALERSHIP SINCE THEY ARE THE ONES WHO ARE PAYING MONTHLY ON THERE INVENTORY THAT THEY WOULD BE LOSING ALOT OF MONEY IF THEY LET THE CARS GO AND THEN THEY COME BACK REJECTED. AND EVERYTIME I CALL THEY ALWAYS SAY THEY HAVENT GOTTEN ANY REFUNDS BACK YET BUT EVEYTIME I PASS BY THE DEALERSHIP THERE ARE MORE AND MORE CARS GONE. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
J
  • J
    jeff
  • August 24, 2009
hi liz,
this is from the CARS website:
IF THE DEALER HAS THE NEW CAR IN STOCK, THE DEALER MUST ALLOW YOU TO TAKE POSSESSION OF THE NEW CAR BEFORE THE DEALER MAY SUBMIT THE CREDIT APPLICATION TO THE GOVERNMENT. PLEASE REPORT ANY DEALER TO NHTSA THAT DOES NOT ALLOW YOU TO TAKE POSSESSION OF A NEW CAR PURCHASED UNDER THE CARS PROGRAM. PLEASE CALL THE CARS HOTLINE AT (866)-CAR-7891.

The dealer says that I should take my trade-in car home after I sign the purchase agreement for a new car under the CARS program, and that I can pick up my new car after the dealer is paid by the government. Can I do this?

NO. The dealer must take title to and possession of your trade-in vehicle in order to submit a credit for reimbursement under the CARS program. You may not keep possession of your old car.
You have rights under the program. If the dealer is registered, they are supposed to play by the rules. I would suggest letting the dealr know (nicely) that you know your rights, and the rules, and suggest to them that all the other people waiting for their cars know the law too. Let them know that you are bringing your clunker back in and taking your car home so the dealer doesn't get into trouble.
F
  • F
    Finally got mine
  • August 24, 2009
I was in the same situation in July. We waited over two weeks. You should call the dealer and tell them that you want to schedule a pick up date today OR you will be calling the hotline number immediately. He is sure to have more than your deal to lose and there are fines he could incur.

My dealer scheduled our pick up within 30 minutes of my call to him. We picked up our car mid-August
J
  • J
    jeff
  • August 24, 2009
I've been unable to log on for 3 1/2 hours. has anyone had any luck??
K
  • K
    kevin leigh
  • August 24, 2009
it was up for a few moments then crashed again.
J
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    jeff
  • August 24, 2009
SUPER COOL!!
D
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    Deb
  • August 24, 2009
I just got in...and actually finished one deal. I've been trying for hours also.
J
  • J
    jeff
  • August 24, 2009
i almost got one, but it crashed again.
J
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    John Quinn
  • August 24, 2009
We've loaded a few... very, VERY slow.
J
  • J
    jeff
  • August 24, 2009
wonder if they'll extend the time....
D
  • D
    Deb
  • August 24, 2009
Automotive news just sent out that they've extended the deadline to noon on Tuesday due to "hours of computer problems hamper deadline filings"
J
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    jeff
  • August 24, 2009
great news, Deb!!! I wonder if it's true..
M
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    Mindy
  • August 24, 2009
Let's hope they get the system up and running by then... I have three to submit and keep getting the message "the application is not available.... " Anyone experiencing this also?
J
  • J
    jeff
  • August 24, 2009
yeah, sometimes, also, that they are expanding the bandwidth and to try back later.
J
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    John Quinn
  • August 24, 2009
As just reported on Fox news as well:
WASHINGTON - Auto dealers will get more time to submit their Cash for Clunkers deals to the government for repayment after the Department of Transportation extended the deadline for filing claims.

Dealers will now have until noon Tuesday to file the paperwork they need to get repaid for the Cash for Clunkers credits of up to $4,500.

The Transportation Department says the extension is due to an overwhelming demand on the computer system set up to handle the claims. The Web site was shut down temporarily Monday afternoon because of the overload.

The deadline of 8 p.m. EDT Monday still stands for the end of all Cash for Clunkers sales.
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    Mindy
  • August 24, 2009
sorry... should have read the previous posts... looks like everyone's in the same boat
M
  • M
    Mindy
  • August 24, 2009
Pennsylvania Auto Dealers just sent this bulletin to me... just passing it along case it is helpful...


To: PAA Members

From: J. Paul McMillen

Date: August 24, 2009 (4:00 PM)

RE: CARS Program Computer System Is Down

Dealers nationwide are reporting that the CARS computer system has either crashed or been shut down, again, for the third time since the federal Department of Transportation (DOT) announced that the Cash for Clunkers Program will end at 8 p.m. (EDT) tonight.

NADA has requested that dealerships that have been unable to successfully submit "clunkers" transactions for whatever reason should immediately e-mail NADA at [email protected], with the subject line "Unable to Submit."
A copy of the e-mail should also be sent to NHTSA at [email protected]
Provide details in the e-mail of the number of transactions you are attempting to transmit, and it might be helpful to include each customer's name, the VIN of their clunker, and the VIN of the new vehicle purchased, as well as the date of sale or lease of the new vehicle. Note in your e-mail that you have been unable to log on to the CARS computer system today to transmit the transactions.

NADA has again called on the Obama Administration to extend the deadline for submitting "cash for clunkers" applications to August 31, while keeping the August 24 deadline for consummating clunkers transactions.

PAA will continue to provide updated information to membership as soon as it becomes available.
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    jeff
  • August 24, 2009
guess it's another late night for me...
M
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    Michael
  • August 24, 2009
is anyone able to get into the site yet?
J
  • J
    John Quinn
  • August 24, 2009
A little this afternoon, but not at all now -- at least since I started trying again at 7:00 Eastern
L
  • L
    Lori Finney
  • August 24, 2009
We only got in for about five minutes. I waited on the hotline for 2 hours to see if they could reject a deal that was logged under the wrong brand for us. He said to send an email that they would get to it in a timely manner. I told we sent the email on Friday morning "How timely are you talking about?" Of course he couldn't help that's another department etc etc, i selected to asked someone about a deal prompt. This is insane.
L
  • L
    Lori Finney
  • August 24, 2009
Ok so now that I brought a ton of paperwork home, the site will be offline all night! So I assume the IT department for the government clocked out today around 5pm and let the rest of us sitting around wishing we could get this done!
K
Started putting deals in at 1:30 am..
Wife is mad at me, dog is mad at me, I am mad at me.... ARG... only a government run program could leave this many people with a bad taste in their mouths.... they prove the free money always costs someone...
J
  • J
    jeff
  • August 25, 2009
all in!!! now to get back to work. good luck getting paid everyone, I feel like I've been released from a hostage crisis.
K
All done..., I agree with Jeff, one monkey off our back, now for the other one named Rejected..
M
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    Mindy
  • August 25, 2009
YEAH! Just finished the last 1! Not an issue for me but I don't get that the government set a submission deadline..??? What's the logic?
S
  • S
    Steve
  • August 25, 2009
I also have not gotten my new car. My deal was finished July 31st - clunker is still in my possession, my new car is in stock at the dealership, but they say they are waiting for "approval" first. Dealership says waiting for approval before giving the car away is OK, but not waiting for the money – they claim they are waiting for approval, not for the cash to come in. Called the hotline numerous times, called dept of transportation, and called NHTSA. Got differing answers from all as to if I should have my car…however, recently one hotline person told me that it is OK for the dealership to wait for approval. Said that waiting for approval isn’t the same as waiting for the money, which would be in violation if it was approved and they were waiting for money. Still don’t know what to do…approval by my estimation could take a few more weeks….I don’t get it – nobody knows if I should truly have my car or not and that includes the DOT, NHTSA, and even the clunker hotline employees themselves.
D
  • D
    Deb
  • August 25, 2009
I finally got all of ours in also, yipee!?
Now I wait and wait and wait, will it be a reject or an approval, the suspense is killing me!!
J
  • J
    jeff
  • August 25, 2009
Steve, the rule clearly states that the "clunker" must be in the control of the dealership prior to them submitting the application. The dealer certifies this when they sign the summary of sale, and when they submit the application. The NHTSA has too many calls and too smal a staff to field the enormous number of questions. The NHTSA has already declaired on their website that:
the dealer must allow you to take delivery of the new car if it is in stock.
the dealer must "capture" the trade in before submitting for reimbursement. The latter part is fraud, so don't let the dealer make the rules. print it from the cars website, take it to the dealer, and kindly ask them to abide by the law before you report them to the nhtsa.
T
  • T
    Terry
  • August 25, 2009
Ok I am in the same situation as Steve and many other people apparently where the dealer is refusing to hand over the car. We have done all the paperwork etc etc. We have the clunker in our possesion and we keep on telling them there breaking the law but they seem to not care and will not give us the vehicle because there waiting for the government money.We have reported them to the government(which said they would get back to you in two days it's two weeks later) to the gmc headquarters apparently they can't do anything about it just tell us the dealership is doing it wrong. At this point I don't know what else to do because I bet the government money will not come in for weeks and we have been waiting since early august... Advice?
J
  • J
    John Quinn
  • August 26, 2009
Someone above said it well: consumers need to realize that Dealers are on their side in this -- long story short, we're all in the same boat. What I'm sure many customers don't understand is that it is entirely likely that many dealers cannot afford to turn-over the vehicle before they are paid. Not to get too lengthy, but those cars you see sitting on the lot are financed by a bank -- once a customer takes the car home, the dealer only has a week or so to actually pay for that car. That dealer very well may not have an extra $50,000 or $100,000 to give to the bank while he's waiting for reimbursement from Uncle Same. As far as the rules -- they were NEVER spelled-out until mid-way through this administrative fiasco -- so save your calls to the NHTSA, your lawyer, etc. So my advice to consumers? I know you're excited and want your car NOW, but give the dealer a break! Let's face it: you've received a hand-out from the government -- try to exercise a little patience!
S
  • S
    Steve
  • August 26, 2009
True, but likewise many of us are still driving these "clunkers" that should already be on the dealer lot. We are guzzling gas left and right, and many of us (like myself) are driving clunkers that need/could use repair. If we are told we have the right to be in possession of our new vehicle, we want to excercise those rights. Especially considering the fact that we can be saving money on gas, avoid spending repair $$ on our vehicle that will eventually be salvaged, AND getting a little bonus cash from the salvage lot (after the $50 dealer) due to our clunker's true scrap value....
J
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    John Quinn
  • August 26, 2009
Steve, to be honest, your sense of "entitlement" here is a bit disturbing. You want to look a gift-horse in the mouth, well then I guess you're enitled. Good luck!
S
  • S
    Steve
  • August 26, 2009
I'm sorry, but they are not playing by the rules anyway you look at it. If they were becoming concerned about not being able to front the $$ for following the rules (allowing customers to accept delivery), then they should have stopped accepting new applicants until it could be fronted, or dropped the clunker program altogether like other dealerships have. However, they chose to bend the rules in order to take advantage of the increased number of sales they would receive by continuing to participate.
D
  • D
    Deb
  • August 26, 2009
Bravo to Mr. Quinn!!!!!!!
C
  • C
    chris
  • August 26, 2009
I seems this program has really become a mess. I am curious, to the dealers out there - if this program were to be offered again, would you participate or avoid all together? Is all of this mess worth the extra sales? In other words, has the "gift horse" that government has handed out to you too (I assume Net Sales for most dealerships benifited greatly, although I do not have any data to back that up at my fingertips), to the dealers become a "white elephant"? As for me, the dealership and I are coming to a mutually acceptable outcome so, please, do not take my above question in the context that I might have some "ax to grind".

Thank you - Chris
M
  • M
    MapleGirl
  • August 26, 2009
So here's the million dollar question:

Should consumers push the dealers to release a car bought with the CARS program or should we sit tight and continue to wait for the approval from the government?

We submitted our application on July 27th. Our dealer put it into the system that night. "Our" new car and clunker have been sitting on the dealer's lot since then. We really want our new car and I'm sure the dealer really wants us to take it (and stop calling them). It seems as though the dealer is breaking the law by making us wait for the approval on our clunker. (Silly law really..... why should the dealer have to take a financial risk on our clunker deal?)

Should I call the NHTSA and VW of America to report them? Should I wait to call them until after we get the car? Should I sit tight and do nothing?

The dealer also listed the salvage value of our clunker as $50, so he said we won’t get anything from that. Our clunker is a ’92 GMC Yukon. Where can I find the actual salvage value?
J
  • J
    John Quinn
  • August 26, 2009
My advice is to certainly sit-tight. Like you said -- you both have the same goal. There are now 2000 people going through the applications -- should start to pick-up. On another note... I've seen a couple of mentions now regarding the "Salvage Value." Consumers need to understand that absolutely nowhere, anywhere, is it written or stated that the consumer is to be refunded any salvage value over the $50 alloted for "administrative" funds. This has been discussed in depth during NHTSA/NADA webinars on the CARS program. The rules do say the dealer is allowed to keep $50 for administrative costs, but again NOWHERE state that the consumer should be given the difference. Some dealers may choose to refund the difference, some may not, opining that there are costs incurred other than "administrative" in nature. Perhaps NHTSA will clarify at a later date, but it is factually erroneous for consumers to expect to receive salvage value in excess of $50 "by law." At best, the rules are enormously vague.
M
  • M
    Mindy
  • August 27, 2009
Is anyone having problems accessing the CARS invoice web site this morning? I have not been able to get on to check the status of my invoices this morn...
J
  • J
    John Quinn
  • August 27, 2009
I was on this morning for a while, but getting an error message now...
M
  • M
    Mindy
  • August 27, 2009
thanks... at least i know it's not something i'm doing wrong...
S
  • S
    Steve
  • August 27, 2009
Anyone know the deal with the scrap value? Does the dealership get a scap value for the "clunker" when they take possession of the trade-in, when they disable it, or do they do that before all the paperwork is in? I have a feeling my dealership didn't do this properly and only put $50 for the actual scrap value to cover a certain fee b/c they didn't want to worry about giving more money back to the consumer...
R
  • R
    Rick
  • August 27, 2009
err
J
  • J
    John Quinn
  • August 27, 2009
Steve, Please see a couple of posts above.
R
  • R
    robyn
  • August 27, 2009
wow. ya'll actually got people on the phone at the number? i never actually heard a voice except for the new recording of a different voice telling me to push another number on the menu.. then i would hold for about 2 hours and then it would cut me off. i wasn't able to submit my actual paperwork until midnight. i wasted at least a weeks worth of time submitting paperwork only to get kicked out and not able to log back in.. then i would have to resubmit it all over again..it only worked for me about 11pm each night. today, i finally was able to logon this afternoon to check the status and they are still under review. i tried logging on this morning and their server down. go figure.
C
  • C
    Chris
  • August 27, 2009
$50 scrap value is all we gave our customers. We delivered all sold vehicles under the CARS program as told, the same day, or when we got it in on trade from another dealer. The junker picked up every clunker within 24 hours. What they make on the clunker is irrelevant to us and our customers. The $3500 or $4500 in CARS rebate was given to the customers by our dealership. We are still waiting for the Government to pay us about $300,000 which we should be paid with interest. The Obama administration lied about the payout to dealers and if this program ever comes back, one of the biggest Nissan dealers in America will say - sorry, we don't participate. The $300K we're owed is hurting. The customers need to thank the dealership if any thanks is possible from a trend in car buyers that think they're owed something. Just another reason we're selling more cars at full sticker, because that's what they are worth.
K
  • K
    Kim
  • August 28, 2009
I bought a car under the cash for clunkers program on July 31, and am still waiting for delivery. I have been very understanding of the dealerships position but just was told my warranty started on July 31. I have now lost one month of coverage and there seems to be no end is sight. What are my options?
S
  • S
    Steve
  • August 28, 2009
Kim, I was in your same position with not receiving my new car and still driving my clunker. I also finished my deal on July 31st. I emailed the GM of the dealership yesterday as my sales rep was steadfast in not giving me my vehicle. I mentioned to the GM the date my deal was done, as well as my rights under the program (having my car the day of the deal), and the dealerships violations under the program (not accepting my trade in). I also mentioned that the CARS hotline people and the NHTSA rep. I talked to both agreed that I should have my new car and asked me to report the dealership ; they also mentioned the dealership could face fines as a result. In any case, the GM emailed me back, and we set up a time to take delivery and hand over my trade-in..I should have the car later today. My advice - move up the ladder and talk to someone other than your sales rep.
K
  • K
    Kim
  • August 28, 2009
Thanks Steve for the info.
My husband just got back form the dealership and after a lot of talking and finally meeting with one of the owners our car is scheduled for pick up Monday at 3:30.
M
  • M
    Michael
  • August 28, 2009
I THOUGHT THAT THE DEALS WERE REVIEWED AS FIRST IN, FIRST OUT. I HAVE DEALS BEING REVIEWED THAT WERE INVOICED AT LEAST TWO WEEKS AFTER SOME THAT HAVE NOT BEEN REVIEWED. SHOULD I BE CONCERNED ABOUT THIS?
C
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    chris
  • August 28, 2009
To the post above that states “we’re selling more cars at full sticker, because that’s what they are worth.” While I appreciate that you would like that to be the case (and sometimes it may be), what an item is “worth” is dictated by what a buyer and seller agree on and transact. More often this is readily apparent in the used car market. I have an 06 Lotus Elise, pristine condition with about 12K miles, that I was considering selling. In talking to many other Lotus owners they seemed to believe that my car was “worth” around $36K (sticker was 51). THEN..when looking at comments on various forums, people who did not own one but were talking about buying one thought they were “worth” the high 20K’s. Of course, many could site an e-bay sale etc to support their argument. The reality is somewhere in between. Neither the Buyer nor Seller sets what an item is worth. The merely suggest their opinion by means of an offer to buy or sell. I suppose the best indicator of a new cars worth would be historical prices paid within a specific geography. What I have seen is that sticker price seems to have been often quite a bit higher than what the Market has decided in terms of “worth”. Now, if we are talking some F-Cars that sell over sticker… :)
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    Charles Gallaer
  • August 28, 2009
@ Chris, you are 100% correct. The market does indeed determine the supply/demand equilibruim of goods offered for sale by sellers and prices buyers are willing to pay. I think what the OP was trying to point out that with the large amount of retail pricing support provided by the US government and depending on the manufacturer the large amount of support in the form of factory rebates, this supply/demand equilibrium is being reached without much discounting from the dealer, if any at all.
A
  • A
    Ann
  • August 28, 2009
We are in a similar position to Steve and Kim- it has been 27 days since we signed for the new car. Our dealership is 3 hours away so it isn't convenient to run down there. We expected to take our clunker to sign for the new car, we haven't had a new car in 11 years so we have been socking away the cash for when we "had to" get a new car. This program was the incentive to get out the checkbook. You can have cash in hand if you save it over a long time. The salesperson told us to bring all the paperwork but not bring the clunker. I have since learned that we were supposed to leave the clunker but the dealership seems to have no interest in taking it. They also will not release the car to us unless we sign an agreement to return it if our voucher is not approved. This is a new contingency they have come up with as of August 13-about 2 weeks after we signed all the CARS program paperwork and agreed to buy the car. The advice they have from their lawyers is that if the customer refuses to sign, the dealer can choose not to deal. It seems like a threat. I am confused as to how that applies to a deal already entered into. We have a downpayment on the car, they didn't require full payment on our part. Per the Sales Manager our "invoice" shows pending approval. It has been 28 days. I spoke with the state dealership association, they "guessed" the dealer didn't want the clunker yet because of space issues but didn't really know. I also was told that the dealer's association for this state advises their dealers to not release the cars. I have spoken with the consumer arm of my state attorney general's office and they are confused as to what is right. They have read the CARS.gov site info and agree the dealer's stance is in conflict with what is stated about delivery of a car and taking possession of the clunker. There doesn't seem to be anyone or entity that has the interest in pursuing compliance by a dealer. I don't feel comfortable having this clunker with me- the title has been signed over. It's a 3 hour ride over a weekend (no government agency answering the phones on the weekend). If I show up with the clunker and they don't want to take it-it is a big deal. If I show up with a clunker and they still won't release the new car then I must drive up two cars if I have to insist on leaving the clunker behind. It's a mess.

Advice?
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    Kim
  • August 28, 2009
Ann,
I a so sorry for your situation. Our situation came to a head when my husband looked at me and said "When does our warranty start? I looked u our manufacturers Customer service number and after talking to the found out it had started on July 31. My husband visited the dealership and at first things did not go well. He asked about when we could get our car and was told to pay the 4500 and we could have it today. He told them that was against the guidelines. The man walked away from him. He was able to talk to our salesman and told him he wanted to speak to the sales manager and was taken right to him. Unbeknown to us the manufacture had called the dealership. A date and time was set up right then. The women I talked to from the manufacture calle dus this afternoon and let us know our car would be released I was able to tell her yes on Monday at 3:30. She is going to call us Tuesday to make sure there were not problems. Hope this helps.
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    Ann
  • August 28, 2009
Thanks Kim. I have been talking with the Sales Manager. He is the one that provided the info regarding signing an agreement to return the car or pay $4500 if the deal is not approved by the CARS program. Our clunker qualifies in every way so that aspect shouldn't be in question. I am thinking I will call the NHTSA on Monday, and also look to talk to the manufacturer. This dealership is part of some large "group" over several states-I don't know if you get more or no better attention if you go up that type of ladder. I guess I will talk to the AG office again on Monday. I have the same fear as some others that this might threaten the deal altogether...can a dealer cancel a deal that is already submitted when I want to comply but they are choosing not to?
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    Jon Groenig
  • August 29, 2009
What everyone seems to be forgetting is that this is not a dealer or consumer issue, all the problems start and end with the government. If dealers had received payments within the 10 day time frame they had been told, every single vehicle would be in the possession of the consumer. Unfortunately many dealers are out thirty days on their submissions and still have no money to show for it.

Now let's put this in a context everyone can understand, let's say a good friend approaches you and says they need to borrow 30% of your paycheck from you, but they assure you they will have the money back to you within 10 days. Now 10 days have passed, no money, 20 days, no money, 30 days, no money. Now you are short on covering your expenses and another person comes and tells you they also would like to borrow money from you, do you think there is a chance you are going to take steps to cover yourself this time? It's no different than what the dealers are doing by asking the consumers to cover the shortfall if the government doesn't pay out.

I think the reason so many consumers are upset about being asked to cover the $4,500 is that they think there is a good chance the government won't come through with the money. Think about it, if it is a for sure thing, why would anybody be concerned that the $4,500 note might come due? So in reality both side have the same exact fears, that the government will end up not paying out.
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    Ann
  • August 29, 2009
Jon- Your analogy is okay for personal transactions- one can make a choice to participate in loaning money out to a friend or not. This is a business situation in which rules and laws are involved. The choice of the dealership was to be involved or not in the program. When the dealership opted to participate they were agreeing to abide by the rules. There appears to be dealerships playing by the rules and dealerships which are not. I can understand that the dealers who submitted things that are valid and done in a timely manner are rightfully frustrated. I almost have that situation except that the dealership is not in total compliance by not accepting to physically take my clunker and coming up with a "you pay me if this isn't approved" agreement weeks after the deal was signed. I wouldn't choose to have a friend who acts that way. Yup, the government is definitely harming the entire process by their own noncompliance of what they stated would happen regarding approval and payment. One could feel pretty "friendless" in this crowd.

If the car is paid to the dealer with the exception of the government voucher doesn't that help their cash flow?

When manufacturers like Toyota offer (I believe this was made available August 17)to front the dealers the voucher differences, why don't dealers take that on and participate in an opportunity to develop good will with potential repeat customers?
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    Chris
  • August 29, 2009
I seems this program has really become a mess. I am curious, to the dealers out there – if this program were to be offered again, would you participate or avoid all together? Is all of this mess worth the extra sales? In other words, has the “gift horse” that government has handed out to you too (I assume Net Sales for most dealerships benifited greatly, although I do not have any data to back that up at my fingertips), to the dealers become a “white elephant”? Or is it too early to tell (as in you do not know if the government will actually pony up what they may owe you)?
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    Charles Gallaer
  • August 29, 2009
@ Chris, I work for a multifranchise dealer in VA. The 'front end' of the program was a phenominal success(i.e. stimulating customer demand and sales). The folks that purchased from us were individuals who rarely buy new vehicles and keep the ones they have forever so I don't think this program necessarily pulled ahead customers from the upcoming months. Their vehicles were truly clunkers and I couldn't have given them a trade in value anywhere near what the government offered. Virtually all had outstanding credit and most paid cash for their new vehicles. The 'back end' of the program (i.e. claim submission and claim payment) has been challenging to say the least and has been the focus of extensive reporting through various news sources. The demand on our personnel and the time that it takes to submit a claim is unacceptable. The lack of integration between the EPA's database and NHTSA's database pertaining to vehicles built is also unacceptable and created major headaches with claim submission. I believe the government had the wrong department (NHTSA) administering this program as it is miniscule in size and lacked any experience and infrastructure with processing payments. These factors have lead to the existence of a 'claim purgatory' that claims live in for weeks on end, neither rejected nor paid. We believe that eventually our stores will be paid for all of our eligible claims and would participate in the program again as long as our theory holds true and the government can streamline the claim submission and payment process.
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    Ann
  • August 29, 2009
Charles- are you able to determine or have heard of how many claims per day are being decided as approved or at the very least processed?
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    Charles Gallaer
  • August 29, 2009
@ Ann, I would contact the General Manager of that particular store and let him or her know you intend to contact NHTSA (at the 800 number on the cars.gov site) and let them know about the problem your facing. Contacting the manufacturer is pointless as each dealer is independtly owned and operated. The fines that are out there for not complying with the program exceed what the value of the rebate is, so s/he (the GM) has an incentive to try to make things work without involving the government. Although the dealership has the right to ask you to sign an agreement at the time of purchase to repay the government rebate if they do not receive payment from the government (not sure if they can ask you to sign this after you agree to the deal and have signed all of your paperwork already)and you have the right to refuse to sign it and therefore not do busines with them, they cannot hold the vehicle pending payment from the government or refuse to take your clunker at the time you consumate your transaction (sign the paperwork). If they have your title as you said they do and you cancel the deal, you may have recouse if they have already wrote on the title noting it as a clunker (a requirement for claim submission). In doing so they would make your vehicle have a 'junk' title thus dramatically reducing the value of your vehicle. I'm sorry that you're having these difficulties and I hope the store you're working with can resolve this issue quickly for you.
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    Charles Gallaer
  • August 29, 2009
@ Ann, the government will release data pertaining to nationwide claim submissions and payment. For the deals that we have done under the CARS program, we haven't been able to figure out a pattern or find any type of cadence as to which claims are selected and when our claims will be paid. I think this is because of the sheer volume of claims that NHTSA and their contract employees are processing throughout the US. Initially it was a nightmare to submit claims because of site failures (crashes) and problems with the information that the government had (referenced in my post about not sharing the EPA's vehicle database). Many will sit in a pending status for quite some time and then are rejected for a clerical error or a document that didn't scan properly. We cannot edit the claim until it is rejected even if we know we made an error in submitting it so the claim will then take a much longer time to get paid. Ultimately, unlike a manufacturer rebate which has a predictable timing from submission to payment, the government rebate submission to payment schedule is unclear and is why customers like you are having difficulties completing your transactions.
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    Ann
  • August 29, 2009
Thank you. I had been told by the Sales Manager that information from a conference call with the NHTSA noted that 150 vouchers a day were being processed. That seems too ridiculously small an amount for what is now a 2000 person effort to handle the paperwork. Just having information that is valid would be helpful.

Would you mind helping me understand how a customer paying for all but $4500 of the vehicle cost does or does not make any difference to a dealer?

My situation includes the dealer not wanting to see us with our clunker or our payment, beyond the deposit, until the deal is approved.
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    Charles Gallaer
  • August 29, 2009
@ Ann, no problem. Our business is extremely cash intensive. Most dealerships in the US finance their inventory with a bank (either an independent bank like Wachovia, Bank of America, etc or a manufacturer's captive finance source like Ford Credit or Honda Motor Credit). The bank requires payment in full from the dealer when the vehicle is sold by a certain period of time. If this does not happen, the dealer can lose its source of inventory financing and could have to close its doors. Furthermore, the dealer is subject to spot checks by the bank and if the car isn't present most banks require the dealer to pay it in full irregardless if the dealer has received full payment for the vehicle. Here's an example: $10,000 car - $4500 rebate means customer pays $5500 for vehicle. However, the dealer has to pay the bank $10,000 for the vehicle so from a cashflow standpoint the dealership has now gone backwards $4500. This happens every day with manufacturer rebates. However, those rebates have a very simple claiming process with a defined payment schedule. This isn't the case with the CARS rebates. One claim might not seem like alot of a drain but taken with 50 or 100 others and this can create a serious cashflow problem. At our stores we complied with the guidelines set by NHTSA and delivered the vehicles at the time of sale and took the clunker from the customer. Fortunately for us we have sufficient capital to do so and can wait for the government to pay us for our CARS rebate. It sounds like the place where you are conducting business saw that their exposure on the CARS program was such that they were uncomfortable with releasing more cars without receiving payment from the government and thereby having to pay the vehicles off with their finance source and having negative cash flow. This predicament placed them in an uncomfortable position between alienating customers by asking them to wait or risk further cash drain by releasing vehicles that they don't know when or if they will receive full payment for.
T
It seems to me that the Government is cherry picking the deals to see if they can reject them, they are skipping around in the most random of orders, there is no method to how they look at them, probably closing their eyes and pulling a number out a barrell, out of 85 total deals I have been paid on 7, however they reject 2 - 3 daily, and believe me I have had to call them( the government) to inform them that they made the mistake, not us on a number of occasions in regards ot rejections. It seems like they cherry-pick the rejections and leave the approvals to just a handful of people, its probably easier for them to kick it back instead of filing the paperwork to approve it and then when it gets rejected it probably goes back in the pool for some other poor guy to look at and do all the paperwork. Out of 10 rejections, only 4 of mine have been valid, after I finally get them on the phone and make them go over it with me, they say stupid crap like "you should have circled the dates for them to see" , this is crazy and my GM gets every rejection email and he thinks we're a bunch of douche bags shortcutting on the paperwork lol
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    Charles Gallaer
  • August 29, 2009
@ Travis, the rejection reasons can be quite interesting to say the least. We sold a vehicle that has a base MSRP of $41000 but with options totaled over $46000. We submitted the claim and it was rejected because the sale price exceeded $45K. No where in the rules is sales price mentioned, only base MSRP. After a very long wait on the hotline, our employee that submits CARS claims had to explain to the NHTSA rep that base MSRP and sale price are two entirely different things. They then asked for a scan of the window sticker to prove the vehicle had the base MSRP that we stated. Luckily our manufacturer provides us with the ability to retrieve pdf versions of the window stickers of vehicles in our inventory. We submitted that claim again and are waitinng for payment. Talk about making up the rules as you go!
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    Ann
  • August 29, 2009
Charles- I went back to read some of the recent posts and want to thank you for your recommendation on speaking with the General Manager. Of course I want this deal to go through. I wonder if my deal would or could be cancelled by the dealer when I continue to request they release the new car to me and that they take possession of my clunker? I also want to pay the remainder of what I would owe for the car. It's strange to me that a dealership doesn't want to accept my payment as well.

That part of the agreement that was created weeks after I committed to the car which states that the dealer can choose not to deal if I don't sign an agreement to pay the voucher value or return the car doesn't seem like it should be able to be applied but since a lot of things do not seem to be logical in all this, would I really be surprised?

I have done the math on what this dealership has at stake monetarily based on what they have told me. 5 approvals, no ultimate rejections, but resubmitting paperwork was involved, 27 total deals-somewhere around $115,000. I didn't subtract the approvals since I am assuming the money hasn't been paid yet. From there I have no idea if that is something a dealership should be able to handle financially.

Back to my initial question- can a deal be cancelled by a dealer a month later with paperwork submitted and a "pending approval" status?
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    Charles Gallaer
  • August 29, 2009
@ Ann, I'm not aware of a way to cancel a 'pending approval' claim. My understanding is that we can only modify a claim when it goes into a reject status in order to make corrections. I can check with my admin staff on Monday to get clarification on that and post more then. In the meantime, the dealership doesn't want to take the remainder of your money because that would consummate the sale and would leave them with no reason to hold your car. It would also start the clock ticking for them to submit payment to their bank prior to receiving the CARS rebate for the full amount of the vehicle if they finance their inventory. In the end, I believe that once you talk to the GM you should see some results. Have a great weekend and I will post on Monday after I find out about if a claim can be cancelled that's in a pending approval status.
S
Now the car dealers know what it's like to be a physician. The problems they are describing are the same ones physicians have in dealing with Medicare, CHAMPUS, Medicaid and other government medical programs. I hope the car dealers recoup more then most physicians do from government sponsored programs.
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    Help
  • August 31, 2009
IS there any recourse for the consumer who is still waiting on their new car purchased over 5 weeks ago through C4C? This doesn't seem right. Herb Chambers in Massachusetts is one of the dealers that won't give out the new car. They want their money first. I would have never purchased from them had I known they would not go by the rules of the program. You would think they care more about customer service and their reputation, but they don't. Cheers to Ernie Boch for giving out the new cars like the rules said. Shame on you Herb Chambers!
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    Help
  • August 31, 2009
Disregard, NO Help needed, we are picking up our car tomorrow!!! :-D
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    Ann
  • August 31, 2009
Would you mind sharing what changed and how?
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    losing patience
  • August 31, 2009
Ann, if it makes you feel any better, we are in the same boat. We put a deposit on the new car on Aug. 4th, the dealer submitted paperwork on Aug. 6th and as of today, the dealer still won't release the car. They claim that they aren't waiting for the reimbursement, just the approval. They didn't want the clunker initially but had us drop it off on Aug. 15th. I didn't and still don't have much faith in their knowledge of the C4C process and have a feeling that the application will be rejected during the first review, which means that there's still a long wait ahead of us after they resubmit whatever they neglected to send initially. Luckily, we have two other cars that we can use, but it would be nice to get this whole process done with! &gt;&gt;edit -- We signed over the title to our clunker as well, so there's no turning back!
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    Kim
  • September 1, 2009
Anne,
Here is the update from our car purchase.
We picked up our car last night. Salesman treated us great, had a crud remark from another employee. Our pick up was not with out a few glitches but the were small and got worked out quickly. Hope your situation gets worked out soon.
P
This Program is designed to Destroy the Used Car Market so that eventually People will only have a Choice between a Government Made Smart car or a Government Made Smart car.

That is the only Reason for the Government to Demand the Destruction of the Used Cars and to restrict the Program to New Cars only. This will Drive up the Cost of Used Cars and Drive Used Car Dealers out of Business Faster. Eventually this will leave nothing on the Market but Battery Powered Government created/approved Vehicles. It's called Behavioral Economics.

This Program was a Test for a More Permanent Program later. Probably to be inserted into the Senate Bill for Cap and Trade. It is all about the Smart Grid.

The Government wants you to have to Drive a Plug in Electric Vehicle so that it has to Plug into the Smart Grid. This will give them the Power to track your movements, TAx you by the Mile and in Conjunction with Cap and Trade, allow them to restrict your CO2 Output.

If you don't know what the Smart Grid is...you better soon. Some of it is going on Line Next Year...

As far as not getting paid and why it seems so confusing, that is obvious. It's called Thinning the Herd.

The Goverment is hoping some of you guys that are Not Government Run, will go out of Business when they tell you that you are not getting paid. That is so that there are fewer choices and down the Road the Public will only be able to Choose from a
Government Created Smart Car...Or a Government Created Smart Car...

Wake up...You are Helping in your Own Destruction. They are using your Greed against you....
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    Ann
  • September 1, 2009
Maybe the dealer GMs are more stubborn in my state but talking with the GM didn't produce results. He says the state law says it is illegal for the federal government to tell him how to run his business and that he can decide not to release the vehicle until he receives approval on the voucher. I am still paying insurance on the trade in vehicle that is signed over to the dealership, the warranty is running on the car that is on the lot. The GM says I should be okay with the warranty since my estimation of how much I drive would make the warranty mileage driven not time driven. Bottom line he won't release the car, he tells me it is my option whether to turn my clunker in to his lot and he can arrange for someone to pick it up if I decide that is what I want to do. Also, signing an agreement to pay $4500 or return the car has fine print which states I would be responsible for depreciation and other costs involved with using the car if I decide to return it.
State AG office seems surprised that the fed government refers me to them for problems with a federal program.
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    Steve
  • September 2, 2009
Ann, you should have your vehicle. I was in the same situation. I told my dealership that the NHTSA as well as the CARS hotline confirmed that I should have gotten my car the day of the deal. The NHTSA also requested that I report the dealership to them, and that the dealership could face fines if they refuse to deliver the vehicle. Tell the GM that under the rules of the program, they should not be waiting for the government money, and that the NHTSA has requested that you report the dealership to them because of this violation (and that they can expect fines if refusing to deliver your new car). Also, when the NHTSA made this a new CARS requirement to deliver the vehicles, they also gave the dealerships the option to opt out of the program if they couldn’t afford to get rid of the cars before receiving payment. Instead, your dealership (and many others) are bending the rules of the program in order to sell more vehicles. As a result, they are taking away the consumers clearly outlined rights under the program.
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    chris
  • September 2, 2009
Patch W Adams. With all of this getting people so hot under the collar I hope your satire was not lost here! Of course, if you are serious, well.....WOW!! LOL
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    John Quinn
  • September 2, 2009
Chris -- haha! This string was getting so long, we were bound to see something like this. There's one in every crowd! ahahaha...
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    Joe Diaz
  • September 3, 2009
@ chris @John Quinn: Patch W Adams is not being satirical, the trends he describes are unfolding daily. Unfortunately, most people are unaware of the profound implications of current events (national, international, economic, political, ideological, technological). It's amazing to see the degree to which most of the populace are in a type of induced trance state; like lambs, blithely -and willingly- going to slaughter.
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    Robert Smithwicks
  • September 3, 2009
I guess Patch Adams and Joe Diaz missed the sign above, eh?
B
Hmm? I wonder if that UFO I saw last night was part of the smart grid? I think it had a G.M. badge on the front....... sorry couldn't resist :)
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    Robert Smithwicks
  • September 3, 2009
AHAHA! Usually you have to be in a bar sitting next to the town wacko to get this kind if witty repartee! How did a conversation between dealers and consumers about vehicle transactions turn into a Mel Gibson movie?
A
I love the Internet.
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    Joe Diaz
  • September 3, 2009
You guys have the same degree of "insight" and "intellectual acuity" as the "experts" at the SEC, who repeatedly dismissed Markopolos' warnings and accurate assessments of Madoff's pyramid scheme. It’s amazing to see the degree to which most of the populace are in a type of induced trance state; like lambs, blithely -and willingly- going to slaughter.
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    Robert Smithwicks
  • September 3, 2009
I'm sorry -- could you repeat that? I didn't quite get it, I must be in some type of induced trance state; kinda like a lamb, blithely -- and willingly -- going to slaughter. So maybe one more time and I'll get it. Thanks! (By the way, Bellview called, said to remind you that your 72-hour pass is about to expire)
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    jeff
  • September 4, 2009
has anyone gotten this? i've been running into it for two days, and I am freaking out. I'm in NH and most of my rejections are for no proof of insurance, when there's none required. I try to resubmit an attachment explaing this and when I go to resubmit, I get this:
Error


Failed to create invoice. A fatal error occurred while committing this transaction to the database. Please contact our Accounts Payable department so we can notify our system administrator.
What the hell?
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    Mindy
  • September 8, 2009
Sorry to hear about your problem Jeff... I have not experienced that one yet but just had a wierd deal happen... I had 1 reject because the trade-in vin did not match the trade title... i verified the vins matched... so i resubmitted with a note on the invoice description section... i cliked on next... and then submit... logged off and back in to find that it actually was not resubmitted and remains in a "rejected" status... but now, the ability to resubit is not available so it's just hanging out there... anyone run across this one and have a fix they could share? i am FREAKING OUT!!! this is the most frustrating disasterous program of ALL TIME! Please let me know if anyoine has a fix... thanks
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    John Quinn
  • September 8, 2009
Jeff &amp; Mindy -- relax! Both have happened dozens of times here. Jeff -- don't bother with a new attachment -- make your point in the notes, and then re-submit. Mindy -- the site is VERY slow to update statuses -- we've had everything from no status listed, to rejected deals staying "rejected" even after we re-submit, to "Approved" deals that are actually paid. Once you have the deal re-submitted, don't sweat the status -- it'll change. As far as still getting rejected for rediculous reasons -- 2 recent good ones: Our "5's" look like "S's" on the Summary -- please re-write. And yesterday: No Salvage Certificate (none required!!). So above all, remember this when re-submitting deals: SPELL IT OUT like you're talking to a moron, because chances are, you just may be...
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    Mindy
  • September 8, 2009
Thanks for getting back on this... not so worried and will check status later today... appreciate your comments John and will try to relax here
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    jeff
  • September 8, 2009
thanks john, adding a new attachment without clicking the update button has been working great, hover they stay in rejected status..now we keep a record of rejections, their reason, what was done and when.
On a higher note, we are 50% paid with about one approval every other day.
good luck everyone!
P
I understand the doubt folks, but the Major Car manufactures have already agreed on a Common Plug for the Electric Cars that will Plug into the Smart Grid. It's not a Conspiracy Theory. Many in my family are in the "energy Distribution" field, the Smart Grid is going Live as early as next year in some major Cities. Hawaii has agreed to become totally Smart Grid Compatible in the next several years. This is the Future...realize it now...Or realize it when it happens. Makes no difference to me.

When you are standing in Your Home watching the Utility Company Controling your Thermostat and you are driving an Electric Car that is plugged into the Smart Grid, you will remember what I have said...and it won't seem so funny then.

How many of you thought 2 years ago that the Federal Government would be Running GM and dictating Pay to CEO's?

But hey, you can lead a Horse to Water, but you can't make them Drink.

Good Luck
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    Scott B
  • September 9, 2009
Help! I am getting the same message that Jeff did, but I am not in NH and need to get past this error:
"Failed to create invoice. A fatal error occurred while committing this transaction to the database. Please contact our Accounts Payable department so we can notify our system administrator"
Any ideas???
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    losing patience
  • September 10, 2009
Finally got approval on the clunker today and will be picking up the new car tomorrow! 37 days after putting down a deposit and 35 days after the paperwork was submitted. Happy about finally getting the go-ahead to pick up the car but still left with a bitter taste in my mouth.
K
All the GMs are sleeping, but in their mail box,
Are hundreds of rejects, that will affect their DOC’s,

There’ll be, bad registration, deceased spouse and problems with Summary of Sale,
Proof of insurance, corporate resolution and oh by the way your VIN is a Fail.

There’ll be rejects for no reason, which drive us around the bend
and back at our “clunker head quarters” we just want this to end.

But we are waiting, with blank forms and rules,
And at the end of this day we'll need some booz

-Kevin Leigh
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    Lori
  • September 10, 2009
Attn: losing patience and all those waiting

Please keep in mind at the dealership is on your side and for the most part all dealers are trying thier best to get the paperwork completed and all deals finished. I assure we don't enjoy the waiting anymore than you do. Don't hold it against the dealer for future sales and service business. It is just not fair to the dealer who has tried and in fact spent probably twice as much time working on your deal than most other customers. The hold up is the government who thought 200 workers could handle process half a million requests on a 10 day turn around.
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    losing patience
  • September 10, 2009
Lori, I understand that the approval process was out of my dealership's hands once the paperwork was submitted. However, what I am not happy about is that my dealership did not play by the rules. My new car was not released until the paperwork was approved, which was in direct violation of the federal mandates. The car that I am picking up is in high demand and I was lucky to find one that was available to begin with... that is why I didn't have the option of completing my transaction at another dealership who would have abided by the rules. I'm sure I'll be happy with the car though, so in the end everything turned out okay.
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    Deb
  • September 10, 2009
I was just about to open the champagne...
then I looked at the invoice list.
Looks like they have yet another computer glitch.
There are invoices I've been paid on that are now showing under review. The email that we were supposed to receive on invoices paid has yet to arrive on any of them.
Now I'm worried that this confusion may cause payment issues on those not paid yet. However it may work in my favor and I will be paid twice for certain invoices. Since they have my bank account number I suppose they can withdraw just as easy as they can deposit, not very comforting.
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    John Quinn
  • September 10, 2009
Hi Deb -- I've seen that quite a bit too -- usually the money hits the bank account before the statuses get changed. Statuses catch-up in a day or two -- no worries. "Losing Patience" -- what most of the public doesn't realize is that the NHTSA made-up many of these rules on-the-fly. I can't tell you have many "oh-yeah, this is what we meant to say" rules went into effect after all of this launched. Consumers seem to think that these "rules" were "laws" -- this program was completely off-the-cuff and run by the seat of a few peoples' pants -- there's no "law" here -- just a set of hastily composed guidelines.. At the end of the day, if the government would have come-out and said, "We're going to give you $4500, but you'll have to wait 4 weeks (6 weeks, 6 months) to get your car -- would you have said no?? I doubt it. So I do have to chuckle a bit at the sense of entitlement so many consumers seem to have: Give Me My Free Money, and Give It To Me Now! It's My Right! haha... we have to chuckle a bit at that, don't we?
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    Ann
  • September 10, 2009
So, John Quinn, the attitude seems to be- If they are RULES and not LAWS that we (dealership) agreed to then breaking them is okay.
That is a problem. Some dealerships chose not to participate because they decided the rules did not fit in with their own rules or other factors, it seems some dealers followed the rules, though it hasn't been easy, others didn't follow the rules while agreeing to follow the rules- those dealers shouldn't feel so smug about it. They have burned bridges with potential repeat customers at the least. I have respect for the first 2 types of dealers and none for the latter-okay a smidgen of sympathy but not much. There were plenty who treated their customers horribly-lies, falsified paperwork and threats- that was my experience. Totally turned me off from that dealership and likely buying new again. If I do buy new I have a memory of the dealerships in my state who represent a certain brand and who played by the rules and who didn't. That is the advantage of a small population state and a long memory.

The buyers weren't supposed to receive an "entitlement". It was a program meant to stimulate the economy that dealers could VOLUNTARILY sign up to participate in with the understanding that meant they would follow the rules. This was to be between the dealers and the government not the buyer and the government. All the talk AT customers absolving dealers of being anything but middleman was part of the shenanigans. The agreements presented for people to sign, the leave a check or credit card number so we can have the customer pay if the government payment doesn't come through was wrong! All the falsified paperwork where someone puts their neck on the line that the clunkers were off the road, or a new car was off the lot and the warranty started when that wasn't the case makes dealers look bad, not the customers and not the government.
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    John Quinn
  • September 10, 2009
I choose to keep my ignorance of a given topic a secret. Might want to look into that... :)
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    Ann
  • September 10, 2009
That is an interesting and telling way to choose to live your life.
I hope your life is not exceedingly full of secrets.

I am not afraid to be educated, corrected, and apologize where it is apparent it is needed.

Feel free to explain what is correct and I will learn from it.

I would rather be called on being wrong so I can know what is true then to take on a life lived on secrets and bad info.
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    Kim
  • September 10, 2009
I can't believe the gull of some people. (John Quinn) Buying a new car is a very big step for some people, not only a big step but an expensive one also. To treat customers the way a large portion of us were treated simply amazes me. Ann I agree with you, my memory will be very long it will be a very very long time if ever that I walk back into the dealership where we made our purchase. Then they have the nerve to ask us to call them with any problems BEFORE we fill out our survey from the manufacture. But you probably don't see a problem with that either. I plan to write the truth on my survey about the whole experience of buying the largest purchase I have made in almost 10 years. I hope and pray it will be that long again. I don't know if I could stomach dealing with dealerships run by the likes of you. Like I said Thanks again for making something that should have been a happy time miserable. If you didn't want to follow the rules you should have dropped out of the program! No one twisted your arm and said Please, Please, Please stay in the program. Your greed is what keep you there, you know can't miss a sale. Think about it customers will be thinking about it for a long time! Ann I hope that you finally were able to get your car.
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    John Quinn
  • September 10, 2009
Actually, we delivered all of our cars same day, and our unsolicited surveys have been wonderful... but another gem my Mammy taught me: Never get into a battle of wits with an unarmed person. (The "gull" of it all... tehe...tooooo much!! ahahahaha). So, I will withhold further comments -- thanks for the chuckle! :)
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    Kim
  • September 10, 2009
Glad to give you your chuckle! It is amazing what some people find funny!
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    losing patience
  • September 10, 2009
John, no need for personal attacks. Let's keep things civil here. I'm sure the owners of Reed-Lallier wouldn't condone that sort of public display.
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    Deb
  • September 11, 2009
Mr. John Quinn we need more of you in Washington!!!!
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    Deb
  • September 11, 2009
I wasn't going to comment any further but the more I thought about Kim and Ann's posts the more infuriated I became. Therefore I need to say briefly that ladies you are welcome. The fact that I work hard and can afford a newer vehicle did not give me the opportunity to take advantage of this program. However, again because I work hard, my taxes enabled you to purchase new vehicles. As my taxes go up via increase in income, utilities, soda(!?)
I'll be thinking of you far longer than you will be of a dealer that was trying to protect their business. I believe you owe your neighbors, employers, and family a thank you.
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    Kim
  • September 11, 2009
Well Deb for the record both my husband and I work hard also. I have 3 children in college and one of them getting married next year. I do think about all of you and the work you do. But you don't know who or what we have had to deal with. I expected our dealership to tell us the truth, but each time we talked to them it was one lie after another, and the sad thing is they couldn't even keep there lies in line from one person to the next. So, if your dealership is different than that Great! and Thanks, I am sure that your customers must love you. I wish I could say the samething about ours. (Maybe it's because once there stock is sold they are down to only one line and possibly losing that also).
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    Ann
  • September 11, 2009
I want to thank the car dealership people who answered my questions earlier in quest for understanding the program, what was right, what was wrong, how things work.

I still have great respect for those who did it right AND I must now add, showed respect for the customer behind the water cooler as well as in the showroom.

I am sorry my frustration at non compliant dealers caused Kim any further distress by the comments of Mr. John Quinn. Mr. Quinn, General Sales Manager, for me negated some of the positive attitude I had developed towards those who claim to have done it right-delivered the car on the first day of sales etc. I asked him to correct where I was wrong because I happen to genuinely want to know and have no problem admitting when I misunderstand or do not understand something. I have less patience for hiding ignorance as a means to what? A false impression? More bad information, or ignorance? I do not work in the auto industry. I don't expect all who do to know everything about any one else's profession or day to day procedures. I sought information from all the sources I could, including the manufacturer-at many levels, lawmakers in the government who crafted the C4C, the usual suspects in this program-NHTSA, the CARS hotline, the dealership I worked with, dealerships I didn't work with etc.

Unfortunately, Reed-Lallier dealership, who I have no cause to doubt followed the rules, now, in my mind has a bruise. Is there a dealership who doesn't claim the importance of Customer Service and Professionalism in describing their business and their employees? I thought and continue to think highly of my salesperson. I came to the conclusion that his dealership did not give him all the information he should have had, did not train him completely/properly on the program. However, that did not absolve the dealership and all the other management who, like Mr. Quinn, were in charge of submitting paperwork, were in charge of the program for their dealership, the owner and the finance manager -all who made statements and claims that were not in line with the program etc. They could have done things differently and chose not to.

Good luck to all those who do things right in the auto industry. You have a tough image problem to overcome.

My background happens to be in Customer Service for a Fortune 500 company. I have trained countless personnel to provide Customer Service to those who chose to do business with us. It is easiest to provide CS when the customer is happy. It is more of a challenge and telling of the quality of the individual and organization when the customer is not. Good CS can be had even when circumstances beyond your control come into play. Much of that lies in communication, education and honesty.

For those unjustly accused or included in negative comments you have my apologies and sympathy.
I have learned a good deal here.
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    John Quinn
  • September 11, 2009
I was done here too, but one last thought: It's been very interesting to see the chasm here between Dealers and Consumers. Obviously, the Dealers on this (Dealer) forum are "in the know" here: this is our business, our livelihood -- we know what we are talking about -- we are the professionals in this equation. As such we often tend to forget (at least I do -- and it's 13+ years for me here...) how EMOTIONAL people get about their cars. And while it can provide a chuckle (or several chuckles :)), or provide a headache, it actually can be one of the nicer parts of our job: for every one of "those" people that just can't be pleased no-matter-what, there are many of those who actually "love" their new cars, become friends with their salespeople for life, and make this job fun. So Deb -- don't let the few bother you. You can see how the dealers on this string have attempted to factually, locically explain to the consumers (on this DEALER forum) what's really happening, only to be completely ignored by irrational, emotionally-charged thought processes. And that's OK -- I'm the same way at the Doctor's office: I hate sitting in that waiting room! Even though logically I know that the Doctor and his staff have no intention of frustrating me, and are doing the best they can, it's easy to get annoyed (emotional) and topical to "slam" the encounter when relating my woes to Aunt Betty. That's just the way we're wired, I guess. We're going to make our point, find the facts we think support our cause (twist them to fit if we have to), and complain. So at the end of the day, you (and by "you" I mean "we," "us," "everyone")can sit back and either be thankful for your good fortune, or complain about how unfair life is: we all know people on both sides of that aisle. So this is my last clunker post: at the end of the day, 700,000 consumers got a "freebie" from the government, dealers got their first decent month in almost 2 years, there were some problems, and some difficulties, it was tough, it was fun. There will always be the people that complain, but the majority of the people -- and I helped several hundred -- were thrilled with the program and couldn't believe their good fortune. I'll stick with those folks, and continue to bend-over backward when any of them ever need anything. Take care!! :)
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    John Quinn
  • September 11, 2009
Last-Last-Last thing: my SINCERE aplogies to John Quinn at Reed-Lallier. I HONESTLY am not John Quinn from Reed-Lallier. I was very confused by the reference until I googled it myself. Next time, I'll try to pick a name that's not already in use!!
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    jeff
  • September 11, 2009
Yikes, so much tension, you could cut it with a knife. A knife that will have to be scanned, converted to a pdf file and sent as a legible attament to the NHTSA for review. My dealership has several knives rejected, but we are about 50% paid on the sales of 84 cars under this program. Thank Goodness we had, and still have available capital for this. This is the part that consumers do not know or care about. If the dealer was on this program, then that dealer was under the impression the they would be loaning the money to the NHTSA while they processed these documents to then pay the dealer back. We, like many are still waiting for in most cases, hundreds of thousands of dollars, and have been for nearly two months. You are all welcome, and thanks for participating in the program.
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    Jon Groenig
  • September 13, 2009
Let's face facts, this is a mainly a dealer exchange, we understand the ins and outs of our business and why some dealers did what they did, they tried to make sure they kept their doors open when the government didn't pay out in a timely fashion (the nerve of those assholes).

Another thing to keep in mind is you only see a handful of customers bitching throughout this thread when in reality 700,000 people made purchases, overall it looks like most dealers followed the guidelines or customers understood the risk the dealer was taking and were willing to work with them.

So I guess the best thing to do is look at this in a positive light, because we all know you would have still be driving your clunker for quite a bit longer than the month these dealer inconvenienced you. The only reason these customers bought was the government rebate, so be happy, you are driving or will be driving a new car soon and you won't need to carry your supply of duct tape a bailing wire with you anymore.

Oh yea, I am glad this will get back to a being a dealer forum now.
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    Mindy
  • September 16, 2009
I understand that after my invoice is paid, I have to submit a payment voucher supplied by the government to General Motors. Does anyone know how to access the payment vouchers?
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    jeff
  • September 18, 2009
i have had one approval left for three days, why do you mock me nhtsa?
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    Chris
  • September 22, 2009
Mindy, where did you get that info? Your dealership fronted the money to the customer, and then you are paid directly into your dealership account the $3500 or $4500 by the NHTSA via CitiGroup - so why would General Motors (US Motor Liquidation Co.) need that money that your dealership fronted, without interest?

P.S. Of the 82 submitted deals for CARS, we've been paid on 80, with just 2 Under Review - one of them since July 28th!

P.P.S. For those of you who submitted these for your dealership, I hope they paid you very handsomely for your tireless efforts.
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