General Motors was within its rights when it charged back $47,493 in sales incentives it had paid to an Ohio dealership, a divided federal appeals court ruled last month.
Sims Buick-GMC-Truck Inc. in Warren, Ohio, had failed to collect required documentation on time to show that some GM employees, retirees and relatives were eligible for discounted purchases and leases. There was no allegation of fraud or misrepresentation by the store.
There will be no further appeal, dealer Bill Sims said, adding, "We've done everything we can on our end." He noted that GM has changed its chargeback policy to make it less onerous.
Sims Buick-GMC-Truck is near GM's Lordstown, Ohio, plant and makes 80 to 90 percent of its retail new-vehicle sales through GM's Vehicle Purchase Program, according to legal papers. The Lordstown plant builds the Chevrolet Cruze.
A 2012 GM bulletin required dealerships to get a "consumer dealer agreement" signed by purchasers and lessees at the time of delivery. That agreement, which is filed in the deal jacket, shows their eligibility for the program and includes an authorization number from GM.