Cash For Clunkers Program is Suspended Early - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Cash For Clunkers Program is Suspended Early

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KENNEWICK, Wash. - It was supposed to go until November 1st, but the cash for clunkers program has been so successful, it's using up the money at a record pace.

The government is suspending the program early with concerns that the $1billion dollars set aside for the rebate incentives is going too quickly.

The program offered owners of old cars and trucks $3,500 to $4,500 in rebates toward a new, more fuel efficient vehicle.

But the Transportation Department called Congress Thursday to let them know they're halting the program three months early. They said through late Wednesday, more than 22,000 vehicles had been purchased with nearly $96 million spent.

But local dealers say those numbers could be even higher, because many dealers haven't been able to register the cars they've sold, and it's possible the government doesn't know how much money they've given away.