The popular U.S. government cash-for-clunkers program, offering rebates of up to $4,500 to car buyers trading in older, fuel-thirsty vehicles, will end on Monday, the Transportation Department said on Thursday.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement that the program, aimed at boosting vehicle sales while helping the environment, has recorded more than 457,000 dealer transactions worth $1.9 billion in rebates as of Thursday.
Government analysts have projected there is enough money to continue accepting applications for rebates until the deadline of Monday, August 24, at 8 p.m. EDT, the statement said.
The goal of the wind-down is to provide a soft landing for consumers and for dealers and to ensure the program ends in a successful way, a senior administration official told reporters on a call.
Lawmakers and the Obama administration had to scramble earlier this month to add $2 billion in funding when the program's initial $1 billion was quickly exhausted.
The administration official said there are no plans to seek more funding or an extension of the program.
The program has faced some complaints from dealers who have reported delays in government reimbursements and troubles finalizing paperwork.
The Transportation Department said on Thursday it is continuing to expand the number of workers processing dealer applications for rebates as the program wraps up.
(Reporting by Karey Wutkowski and Andrew Quinn; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)