WASHINGTON -- A National Automobile Dealers Association survey found members have been paid for 23.1 percent of all cash-for-clunkers transactions, a little over half the percentage reported Thursday by the U.S. Transportation Department.
NADA spokesman Bailey Wood had no explanation for the strikingly different results.
“We have a good sample size,” Wood said in an interview. “We believe our numbers are accurate.”
Transportation Department spokeswoman Sasha Johnson declined comment.
The department said Thursday that dealers had been reimbursed for 42.4 percent of the $2.88 billion applied for.
The NADA survey completed Thursday, which received 738 responses, shows more than a doubling of the reimbursement payments in just a week, Wood said.
A week ago, the group's survey found that 9.1 percent of all claims had been paid.
“Things are moving in the right direction, and we hope they'll continue,” Wood said.
An informal survey Thursday of Ohio Automobile Dealers Association board members found a reimbursement rate of between 20 and 33 percent, association president Tim Doran said.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has set a Sept. 30 deadline for payment of all properly submitted claims. He said Thursday that the agency would meet that deadline.
The NADA survey also found that 6.5 percent of all submitted transactions were “ready for approval,” 7.6 percent were in “rejection” status, 61.8 percent were “under review” and 1.0 percent were “unaccounted for.”
Some dealers expressed concern that along with rising government rebates have come an increasing number of rejections.
This figure wasn't isolated in the NADA survey, as rejections could fall into both “rejection” status and “under review” if they were resubmitted, Wood said.
LaHood, asked about rejections, said of dealers: “We'll work with you. If you can provide all the information, you'll get paid.”