Surprise: Some Chevy Volt dealers keeping tax credit for themselves

True, the asking price of $39,995 is a modest discount off the $41,000 sticker price. But a salesman at the suburban Los Angeles showroom said he did not believe the three Volts would qualify for the $7,500 federal tax credit allocated for buyers of new battery vehicles.

The salesman’s comment suggests there is truth to reports that some dealers are gaming the system to claim battery car tax credits for themselves, as first reported by a conservative think tank called the National Legal and Policy Center.

“Many Volts with practically no miles on them are being sold as ‘used’ vehicles, enabling the dealerships to benefit from the $7,500 credit supplied by the American taxpayers on each car,” NLPC’s Mark Modica said in a blog post on the practice. “The process of titling the Volts technically makes the dealerships the first owners of the vehicles, which gives them the ability to claim the subsidies. The cars are then offered to retail customers as ‘used’ vehicles.”