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  (Source: gawkerassets.com)
The recent battery fires caused by NHTSA crash tests have some Volt owners worried about their safety

General Motors' Chevrolet Volt has had some battery issues lately that need to be ironed out with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), but until those troubles are resolved, GM is offering a Volt owner loan program.

Earlier this year, the Volt, an extended-range electric vehicle, underwent a series of crash tests at a NHTSA facility in Wisconsin. Three weeks after a side-impact crash test on May 12, a Volt caught fire while parked at the testing facility. The incident prompted the NHTSA to launch an investigation of the safety of the Chevrolet Volt and lithium batteries.

Just two weeks ago, the NHTSA conducted three more side-impact tests with three separate Volts over the course of November 16, 17 and 18. The November 16 test went well with no complications, but the November 17 test resulted in a fire one week after the test. The November 18 test resulted in smoke and sparks emitting from the battery.

The test results have caused Volt customers to worry about their safety when using the EV. According to The Detroit News, GM has only received about 10 calls from Volt owners regarding the safety issues, but none of them have requested a new vehicle.

But that isn't stopping GM from offering a Volt owner loan program anyway in order to ease the minds of its customers. The new program will allow concerned Volt owners to contact their Volt advisor and obtain a replacement GM vehicle until the Volt issues are dealt with.

"A vehicle loan program of this nature is well beyond the norm for a preliminary investigation, and it underlines our commitment to the vehicle and its owners," said Mark Reuss, president of GM North America. "These steps are the right ones to take regardless of any immediate impact on our operations."

In addition to the Volt owner loan program, GM has announced that it is working with the NHTSA on possible changes to better protect the battery pack in the event of an accident. If a battery pack is pierced by steel or another ferrous metal, the hot lithium will cause a fire if not handled properly or drained.

"We're working with NHTSA so we all have an understanding about these risks and how they can be avoided in the future," said Mary Barra, senior vice president of GM Global Product Development. "This isn't just a Volt issue. We're already leading a joint electric vehicle activity with Society of Automotive Engineers and other automotive companies to address new issues, such as this protocol of depowering batteries after a severe crash."

Sources: General Motors Co., The Detroit News



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RE: "This isn't just a Volt issue..."
By Samus on 11/29/2011 1:03:16 PM , Rating: 2
A) There are more Volts than Roadster's and Leaf's on the road.

B) Ordinary people drive a Volt, the only vehicle with a Li-Ion battery pack that can be practically used by anybody as a daily driver. Jay Leno has like 20k on his Volt already. That's a LOT of driving.

C) It's common sense to disconnect the vehicle battery after a bad crash. The NHSTA admit to disconnecting the main 12v lead-acid battery, but not the battery pack. They mishandled the aftermath of the crash test. This may not be relevent as to why the battery exploded, but since even federal safety officials are idiots, GM should consider an inertia switch for the battery, much like all vehicles have had an inertia switch for fuel cut-off since the 70's.


RE: "This isn't just a Volt issue..."
By Dr of crap on 11/29/2011 1:29:53 PM , Rating: 1
Whoa, Whoa, Whoa.
I think of myself as an ordinary person, and I could NOT afford the VOLT. And I do not want batteries used to propell my car as a daily driver!

Your standards need ajusting!


RE: "This isn't just a Volt issue..."
By Masospaghetti on 11/29/2011 2:05:47 PM , Rating: 4
An ordinary person can't afford a $40k Volt...but that $40k Tahoe or Suburban, well that's no problem.


RE: "This isn't just a Volt issue..."
By Dr of crap on 11/29/2011 3:18:31 PM , Rating: 2
I can't afford ANY $40k car.
Not had one over $12k yet!


RE: "This isn't just a Volt issue..."
By Jedi2155 on 11/29/2011 3:32:02 PM , Rating: 2
You should look into ways to increase your income then if that is your prerogative. The Volt right now still has a very limited demographic due to the cost as we all know, but the price will go down significantly by the next revision (they're were considering deleting the water cooling requirement).

First it needs to survive the news press.


RE: "This isn't just a Volt issue..."
By tng on 11/30/2011 9:45:48 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
First it needs to survive the news press.
So you think that this news is unfair?

I agree with the Doctor of Crap, $40K is to much money for a car, especially for commuting. A $40K car is not something that I want to drive 100+ miles every day. That gives a GM car about a 5 year lifetime in my experience. Best bet is to do what allot of people do is to buy used.


RE: "This isn't just a Volt issue..."
By Masospaghetti on 11/29/2011 3:59:25 PM , Rating: 2
Are you suggesting that ordinary people can't afford cars over $12k? Those Versas should be selling by the millions!


By Dr of crap on 11/30/2011 12:30:22 PM , Rating: 2
A lOT can't!
What with car payments that are too high, cost of insurance, add in daycare that is as much as a house payment, now the house payments, and then all those lattes from Starbucks, you got one big strain on a majority of people and most just squeak by.

I've not gone over $12k for a car because a car is NOT an investment and should NOT cost me that much to get from point A to point B. If you think you need a new car every 5 years and are willing to pony up that extra cash, go right ahead.

I'll come in a buy up the used cars by those that want the "shiny new one", save money, have as many bells and whistles as those shiny new ones, and not spend myself to death!


RE: "This isn't just a Volt issue..."
By RU482 on 11/29/2011 3:16:45 PM , Rating: 2
what kind of Doctor can't afford a Volt? :)


RE: "This isn't just a Volt issue..."
By seamonkey79 on 11/29/2011 5:00:37 PM , Rating: 2
Apparently a Doctor of Crap (tm)


By Bad-Karma on 11/30/2011 3:34:15 PM , Rating: 2
You should see how much they charge for a colonoscopy....

For that kind of price you think you'd at least get the common courtesies of a reach-around.....


RE: "This isn't just a Volt issue..."
By rountad on 12/1/2011 1:31:51 PM , Rating: 2
I think that he meant that if you drive an electric car, it would be a Volt if you're a normal person. The Roadster and Leaf are not as mainstream.


By rountad on 12/1/2011 1:32:43 PM , Rating: 2
Not to mean that I agree, though...


By quiksilvr on 11/29/2011 2:37:36 PM , Rating: 2
As of July 2011, more than 6,000 Leafs had been delivered in Japan, more than 700 units in the UK as of August 2011,and 8,066 units sold in the US through October 2011. Worldwide cumulative sales since December 2010 reached 16,600 units by October 2011.

Since deliveries began in December 2010, General Motors has sold 5,329 Volts through October 2011 (in the US)


RE: "This isn't just a Volt issue..."
By Wulven on 11/29/2011 2:43:33 PM , Rating: 2
Where are you getting your data that there are more Volts on the Road than Leaf's or Tesla Roadsters? The Leaf was outselling the Volt all year almost 2 to 1 in some months until November. October YTD sales I can find say 7200 Leafs vs 3895 Volts.


By Jedi2155 on 11/29/2011 3:29:28 PM , Rating: 2
My last count of US PEV sales as of 10/31/2011
5329 - Volts
8067 - Leafs


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