Minnesotans trading in their clunkers in high numbersby Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Car sales under the "cash-for-clunkers" program have led to $26 million in federal rebate requests so far from Minnesota, putting the state in the top five nationally.
Government statistics show Minnesota's overall requests rank fourth behind Michigan, Ohio and California.
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar provided the figures Tuesday as she announced the federal Department of Transportation would fix glitches being seen in Minnesota, where some people who had a previous but resolved lapse in their car registration were having trouble accessing the rebates, which can total up to $4,500.
"I don't think anybody expects it to happen overnight," Klobuchar said today on MPR's All Things Considered. "But if we're going to make this program work in the long haul, they have to be fixed, because it wouldn't be fair if some states were able to get their deals through and others weren't."
Older models with bad gas mileage can be traded in as part of the government-subsidized deal on more efficient models.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says the approval process would be adjusted to allow for Minnesota's 10-day car registration grace period.
The cash for clunkers program has been so popular that it has nearly spent its entire $1 billion funding in just over a week. The U.S. Senate is expected to vote by the end of this week on a bill to add another $2 billion to the program.
Klobuchar said she will support the bill if the funding comes from existing stimulus money and if the program glitches are fixed.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
- All Things Considered, 08/04/2009, 6:20 p.m.