2011 Chevrolet Volt – Click above for high-res image gallery

Getting beyond the drama of the Chevrolet Volt and its high-profile development process was supposed to mean that General Motors could focusing on enjoying the car's green halo. But that has not exactly been the case. On the other side of numerous awards and glowing reviews there have been the sales numbers and stories of dealer gouging. Speaking of dealers, a new story by Mark Modica on the National Legal and Policy Center site suggests that Chevy dealers are selling Volts to one another and claiming the car's $7,500 federal tax rebate for themselves, then selling the cars to private buyers as used sans rebate.

According to Modica, a Chicago dealer selling a Volt with 10 miles on the odometer flat-out admitted that it would be seeking the credit for itself: "When I asked if I was eligible for the $7,500 tax credit, I was told that I probably wasn't, since the dealership was applying for the subsidy." Even stranger, a Kia dealer in California was selling a Volt that had just 30 miles on it, and Modica was told that "the Volts offered at that dealership were rental cars with higher mileage on them."

We'd love to get some other research into this, because if this is true, it could help explain a lot of things – including the model's depressed sales.


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  • 70 Comments
      Christopher
      • 3 Years Ago
      Dealerships that engage in this behavior should be fined, both by the Government for fraud (Resale, after "purchase") and by GM. Maybe fining the bad dealers a few million will weed out the bad ones.
      tailgate
      • 3 Years Ago
      More upsetting to me than the disgusting behavior of these greedy car dealers is that these $7,500 tax credits are tax dollars intended to subsidize the purchase of electric cars, not to line the pockets of car dealers.
      chuckgoolsbee
      • 3 Years Ago
      The sooner we can buy cars either direct from the factory or online via Amazon, the better off society will be. The dealership layer of the process and ZERO value and in fact sours the entire automotive purchasing process. I will never buy another car new, nor buy a used car from a dealer for the rest of my life. Every time I've dealt with a dealer the entire process has lead me to take Silkwood showers after the fact. They just destroy whatever good will you have about humanity. This Volt situation is just the latest example of dealer behavior. If I were GM I'd be looking to distance myself as swiftly as possible.
        Kunikos
        • 3 Years Ago
        @chuckgoolsbee
        I would love to be able to purchase direct. Right now the only way to do this is to use a service like what Costco offers.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Kunikos
          [blocked]
      dreadcthulhu01
      • 3 Years Ago
      You mean there are car dealerships doing unethical things in order to make more money? Who would have thought. This sort of thing should be easy to prevent, by altering the law to state that auto dealerships do not qualify for the rebate.
      Sue Esponte
      • 3 Years Ago
      According to Fueleconomy.GOV, in order to qualify for the $7,500 credit (among other requirements): 1) "The original use of the vehicle commences with the taxpayer—it must be a new vehicle;" and 2) "The vehicle is acquired for use or lease by the taxpayer, and not for resale. (The credit is only available to the original purchaser of a new, qualifying vehicle. If a qualifying vehicle is leased to a consumer, the leasing company may claim the credit.)." Dealers buy and sell cars from one another all of the time. There's no problem with that. The problem arises when a bad dealer gets into the mix and tries to pull a stunt like the one Mark suggests some dealers are pulling in his article. As for the credibility of his claim, while I have no doubt that some dealer in pretty bad financial shape has probably claimed the credit, that doesn't mean that they did so within the confines of the program. Consider that any dealership buying a Volt and claiming the credit would have to then LEASE it or RESELL it (the latter of which violates the rules of the program). Alternatively, the dealership could claim that they used the car before putting it up for resale but then they would have to resell the Volt to a consumer as USED. Used cars don't qualify for the program. Any consumer buying a USED Volt expecting to get the credit should have done some research first. Separately, why would anyone (Mark) go to a Kia dealership to buy a Chevy Volt and expect to get a NEW CAR tax credit from the Government? WTF? Last time I checked, Kia dealers didn't sell new Chevys. As for NLPC and Mark Modica: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Legal_and_Policy_Center Mark Modica on Obama: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/model_corruption_ttyHIpNuoQRwVTkBZuhHeM
      throwback
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm Shocked dealers would be gaming the system at tax payer expense.
      Don G
      • 3 Years Ago
      I saw a local news story about the Volt recently. the GM rep said that sales were going to be lower as they had several dealers that were new to selling the Volt and were going to be required to keep a volt for test drives, as well as several dealers who were swapping out their designated test driver for a new one, as well as a longer than usual plant shutdown for the model year changover and incresing production capacity. He didnt say anything about the new $7500 government backed dealer bonus cash,,LOL..
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      ExoPlanet
      • 3 Years Ago
      That's a lot of money for a GM dealer that usually makes nothing by selling cars and everything in the F&I office. Id still report them and have them cut-off.
      Ben Hayat
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why can't we buy direct from GM? Why doesn't GM open up stores like Apple does to sell and service their cars? There are just TOO many unethical dealers out there. Dealers will hurt GM the most by giving consumers a bad taste. You have to be worst than them to come out of a deal in green, otherwise they cheat you. I was hoping with the new GM, they will be more selective with their dealers. We as the tax payers, paid for the R&D of Volt and now the dealers are scaring off customers.
        someone
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ben Hayat
        Many states have laws requiring that manufacturers use dealers, effectively eliminating the possibiilty of direct sales.
      caddy-v
      • 3 Years Ago
      Google Mark Modica and see what a fraud he is. He has a grudge with GM for shuttering Saturn and makes no bones about it. If this clown told me it was raining I'd have to go to the window to see for myself.
      Edward
      • 3 Years Ago
      Old news to those who remember Chevy dealers selling "used" Corvettes when they couldn't charge higher than sticker prices.
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