Cash-for-clunkers program to be extended

The popular "cash for clunkers" program set to end on Monday evening will be extended another 16 hours, said Rep. Betty Sutton (D-Ohio).

The program was scheduled to end Monday at 8 p.m. It will be extended until Tuesday at noon, according to Sutton.

"I know this will be welcome news," said Sutton, one of the program's architects in the House.

On a conference call with reporters, Sutton said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood would announce the extension on Monday afternoon. 

Dealers still must complete transactions by 8 p.m. on Monday, but they will have until noon on Tuesday to submit applications to the federal government's computer system, the Transportation Department said. 

The program offers up to a $4,500 rebate for consumers who trade in vehicles for newer, more fuel-efficient cars. Three weeks ago, Congress provided an additional $2 billion to the original $1 billion program after dealers saw widespread interest.

The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) strongly urged the program to be extended after dealers reported that the federal government's computer system for registering deals has been down on Monday.

NADA, which said it has received 2,000 e-mails from dealers with complaints about the computer system, is seeking an extension until Aug. 31.  

-- This story was updated at 4:18 p.m.