Are Chevy dealers gaming the system to keep Volt's $7,500 consumer rebate?

2011 Chevrolet Volt
2011 Chevrolet Volt
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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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