Local Dealers Still Waiting On Cash For Clunkers

Greg Lair, Greg Lair Pontiac Buick GMC
Greg Lair, Greg Lair Pontiac Buick GMC
Charles Cooksey, Southwest Honda
Charles Cooksey, Southwest Honda
By Megan Moore
NewsChannel 10
Amarillo, Texas - Car dealers around the area face a major hole in their bank accounts because of slow payments from the government after Cash for Clunkers.
We spoke with several dealers around the area, some of which are out more than a quarter of a million dollars.  They say the only choice they have is to trust the government to pay them back.
It may have ended last month, but here at Greg Lair's dealership, the remnants of Cash for Clunkers linger.
Greg Lair says, "when the program started, they said you would be getting your money within seven to ten days of the application and that's been far from it. I mean we started this on the 24th of July and we've got two deals."
Two deals out of 20 total, which "comes out to $90,000, about $90,000 so we've only got two of them so we're hanging out there over $80,000" says Lair.
Over at Southwest Honda, that amount more than triples.  CEO Charles Cooksey says, "they still owe us about $350,000. It's a lot of money."
Neither dealer doubts the government will pay them, but there is not a lot they can do until then.
Cooksey says, "we've submitted all the deals on time with what we believe would be the proper paperwork and we're just waiting on them to work their way through the system."
Cash for Clunkers generated more than $2 billion nationally.
Dealers are required to ruin the clunkers, but Lair says he will not do that until he gets paid for all the deals.