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

For the past three years, General Motors has consistently described the 2011 Chevrolet Volt as a pure electric vehicle with a range-extending on-board gas engine/generator. Today we learned that, in fact, there are instances where the gas engine will contribute motive force to move the car along, which technically makes the Volt a plug-in hybrid, not a pure EV. The question we'd like to ask is, how big a deal will this range-extended EV versus plug-in hybrid debate be for The General?

Already, several media outlets such as Inside Line have expressed frustration and disbelief over feelings that they've been "lied to" for the past three years in regards to whether or not the Volt's engine can power its drive wheels. The boys from Jalopnik have gone so far as to Photoshop Chevy's Volt as the devil. GM, meanwhile, claims this news didn't come to light earlier because the company was protecting its patents on the Volt drivetrain, which have since been approved.

You can bet you'll be hearing plenty more on the topic from those of us who Obsessively Cover the Auto Industry, but for now, we're more curious about what you think.

Has General Motors knowingly lied about how the Volt operates or is the explanation less sinister? Or do you simply not care as long as the final design is as efficient as possible? Take our poll below and then weigh-in with your more detailed thoughts in the Comments.

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