From an article in the Wisconsin State Journal:
WASHINGTON — The government plans to suspend its popular “cash for clunkers” program amid concerns it could quickly use up the $1 billion in rebates for new car purchases, congressional officials said Thursday.
The Transportation Department called lawmakers’ offices to alert them to the decision to suspend the program at midnight Thursday. The program offers owners of old cars and trucks $3,500 or $4,500 toward a new, more fuel-efficient vehicle. . . .
A White House official said later that officials were assessing the situation facing the popular program but auto dealers and consumers should have confidence that transactions under the program that already have taken place would be honored. . . .
Congress last month approved the Car Allowance Rebate System program, known as CARS, to boost auto sales and remove some inefficient cars and trucks from the roads. The program kicked off July 24 and was heavily publicized by car companies and auto dealers.
Through late Wednesday, 22,782 vehicles had been purchased through the program and nearly $96 million had been spent. But dealers raised concerns about large backlogs in the processing of the deals in the government system, prompting the suspension.