A handful of automakers' finance arms allow those affected by the U.S. government shutdown to defer payments they're making on their cars.
Toyota announced its program for federal employees on Jan. 2. Drivers who purchased or leased their vehicle through Toyota Financial Services or Lexus Financial Services may be eligible for up to two months of a contract extension (not making two payments now, but adding them to the back end of the loan) or deferred lease payments.
Toyota's relief program doesn't only include furloughed government workers, however. The company said any financial customer burdened by the government shutdown may be eligible for relief, including businesses and employees of businesses directly affected by the shutdown, government contractors, and suppliers.
Hyundai is also providing relief to government workers via its Hyundai Assurance program. The brand said it will extend loan and lease payments for 30 days for current owners furloughed due to the government shutdown.
The Car Connection reached out to Ford, General Motors, and Nissan. All three automakers said that they don't have a blanket program in plus for furloughed federal works and instead evaluate needs on a case-by-case basis.
"In general, the program allows qualified customers to defer one or two payments on their vehicle or vehicles," Ford spokesperson Margaret Mellott said in an e-mail.
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GM spokesperson Lane Borrello told TCC the automaker is aware the government shutdown is causing unforeseen hardship and "we’re committed to working with each person to assess his or her individual account options" to provide some financial relief in the situation.
The government shutdown is the longest in U.S. history, and after 25 days shows few signs of slowing down. President Trump and House Democrats remain dug in over funds the president wants to use for a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.