People rush to turn in clunkers

Dana Mueller
Dana Mueller
Mark Caliri
Mark Caliri

By Kristine Uyeno - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - For some people in Hawaii, it was a mad dash to the car dealership today.

The government's Cash for Clunkers program ended this afternoon.

And at least one local dealership remained busy until the deadline.

For Dana Mueller, it's a bittersweet day.

"Time to let her go," he said.

It's time to part ways with the Nissan Pathfinder he's had for a decade.

"122,000 miles worth of memories," said Mueller.

He's taking advantage of the Cash for Clunkers program and receiving $4,500 off the price of a new, fuel-efficient Lincoln MKX.

"I'm excited about it," he said.

He's not alone. Honolulu Ford has been busy since they opened Monday morning. People rushing to beat the 2 p.m. deadline. The dealership decided to stop accepting clunkers earlier at noon, to ensure they'd get all their paperwork done.

"Problems are right now, the website is frozen, so we can't even get into the website to submit anything," said Mark Caliri, general manager.

The government extended the deadline for dealerships. They have until Tuesday 6 a.m. HST to submit their paperwork.

Honolulu Ford has 36 clunkers on its lot. This program has boosted its sales by about 50%-60% this month, compared to the same time last year.

"So I can't complain," said Caliri.

It's also been a plus for consumers. They receive the clunkers rebate in addition to the factory rebates. But for people like Mueller, there is a downfall: ending a 10-year relationship.

"Goodbye babe," he said.