'Cash for Clunkers' Suspended? Funds Already Running Out

"I was sort of afraid that all of the money would be gone before then, so when they called and said that it came in early I was really happy," said Greg's wife Lori Burge.

Now dealers are worried they'll be stuck holding the bag.

"It's up to the dealership now to get it's money back, and that's where the fear lies," Addison said. "Customers are on the road but now we're on the hook for the rebate."

Some customers now have to sign an agreement that they will give their new cars back if the government's funding falls through.

The big question now is whether Congress will allocate more money for the "Cash for Clunkers" program.

In a joint statement Thursday night, Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, argued it might be possible to revive the program, but that new vehicles under the plan should face tougher standards.

"The extraordinary reaction to the 'Cash for Clunkers' program demonstrates that consumers do want to purchase more fuel efficient, less polluting vehicles," they said.

"We will insist than any extension of the program requires that the minimum fuel economy improvement for newly purchased vehicles be at least two miles per gallon higher than it is under the enacted clunkers program," they said. "It is also important to include lower-income consumers who are disadvantaged under the current program. So, we would also include a voucher for the purchase of fuel-efficient used vehicles."

'Cash for Clunkers' Guidelines

Here's how the "Cash for Clunkers" program worked:

People who owned a car made in 1984 or later that got 18 miles to the gallon or less could qualify.

The car had to have been registered and insured over the past year, and it must have been able to start.

If applicants to the program traded their clunker for a car that got four more miles per gallon, the government gave them $3,500.

If the new car got 10 miles more per gallon, the person got $4,500.

People trading an SUV, minivan or small pickup only had to improve their mileage by 2 to 5 miles per gallon.

The vehicle purchased had to be brand new and cost less than $45,000.

ABC News Z. Byron Wolf and Michael S. James contributed to this report.

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