Chevrolet Volt - maroon - front three-quarter view

A Forbes piece is blasting the Chevrolet Volt as a failure again, calling General Motors out for what the magazine says is a manipulation of sales numbers for the extended-range electric vehicle.

The publication has published an editorial by contributor Patrick Michaels which accused the automaker of "giving away rent-a-Volts," saying the model's record-high sales of 2,831 units last month were artificially inflated because about two-thirds of the sales were leased (for as little as $199 a month). Michaels argues that true sales to the general public are closer to about 850 units a month. Further fueling the opinion piece's claims of a government "scam" are recent reports that the U.S. Department of Defense will buy 1,500 Volts. In Michaels' words, "The fact is that no one wants this car."

As you likely recall, Reuters recently reported that GM may be losing almost $50,000 on each Volt sold, a claim that was judged to not stand up to arithmetic scrutiny – a contention that was quickly refuted by former GM executive Bob Lutz (in the pages of Forbes, no less).

And just think, there are only 12 days until GM's monthly sales numbers for September to come out. We can only wonder what we'll hear about then.