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Chevrolet dealers are alleged to be “gaming” the system and stealing government tax credits intended for customers. According to an investigation by conservative watchdog National Legal and Policy Center, dealers are applying for the $7,500 tax credit that was designed to help offset the cost of the new high-tech green machine in order to help create demand for the Volt. Dealers would then sell the Volt as a used car. With most vehicles a “used car” status would mean the price would drop considerably, but with Volt demand still far outweighing supply, that isn’t the case and early adopters are being forced to pay full price for the machines while the dealers benefit from the government subsidy.
Also uncovered is swap system where dealers are trading cars with non Chevy dealers, including one instance of a Southern California Kia dealer, which is selling a Volt with just 30 miles on the odometer.
Mark Modica of the NLPC indicates in an article that there may be more to this story than just the gain to the individual dealer, suggesting a conspiracy. “The practice should be stopped immediately, regardless of the desire of GM and the Obama Administration to do everything in their power to support the appearance of strong Chevy Volt sales,” he says.
Obviously GM and the Feds want to see GM prosper and the Volt succeed, although a far reaching conspiracy definitely seems like a step too far, especially considering how high big the incentive is for dealers to rip off customers by stealing tax credits intended for them.