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More blown deadlines in government's 'clunkers' program?

November 16, 2010

How many dealers were reimbursed within 10 days after a CARS deal was approved, as the government program stipulated?

Now comes word that many auto recyclers will fail to crush or shred "cash for clunkers" autos within six months after being transferred from dealerships, another stipulation of the program.

One recycler said he typically dismantles about 100 vehicles a week, but his workload has more than doubled and he has hired 10 more workers to keep up with all the extra work.

"I’ve got a parking lot of almost 4,000 vehicles right now," said Harry Haluptzok, chief executive of John’s Auto Parts in Blaine, Minn.

Consumers bought nearly 700,000 new vehicles last summer under the Car Allowance Rebate System, which offered up to $4,500 on trade-ins.

Recyclers say their deadline, even a few months away, will be hard to meet as they try to remove spare parts, drain fluids and eventually flatten the vehicles for scrap.

The American Recyclers Association, a trade group representing auto recyclers, said the six-month deadline to crush the vehicles was developed in line with the initial $1 billion program, but never took into account the additional vehicles sold when the program was expanded. The association is seeking an additional six months to recycle all the cars.