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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 Masospaghetti on 11/29/2011 2:03:52 PM , Rating: 5
1- It's over priced, and it doesn't need to be

Define need. You act like they are making a huge profit on the car. FWIW, new technology is expensive and GM isn't making a penny on any of them.

2- When it's not sold anymore it will stop being in the news every day "for no good reason"

This is a good reason for wanting the Volt to fail? Because you don't want it in the news?

3- Toyota does it for cheaper - I know you'll say the Prius and the Volt are not the same, but basically it is. Ask any one and they'll have a hard time telling you the difference.

You mean their $39,995 PHEV Prius? Surely you don't mean their regular Prius, which has about a 1 mile EV range (in other words, 35x less EV range)

4- Stop trying to FORCE these EV/hybrids on us. If there was a market for them, they would sell. They do not sell in big numbers. FOR SOME the Volt works, but stop trying to make this car for eveyrone!

Nobody is forcing EVs on you. If you don't want it, 99% of the other cars being sold are not EV. But likewise, don't force EVs out of the market for stupid reasons, such as not following common-sense safety practices.

5- It's a freaking car and will not change the world!

What a great attitude to have towards innovation.

RE: "This isn't just a Volt issue..."
By Dr of crap on 11/29/11, Rating: -1
By Masospaghetti on 11/29/2011 3:56:47 PM , Rating: 2
It's nothing to do if I liked your reasons. You gave 5 reasons the Volt should fail, and they all sucked.

By MaulBall789 on 11/29/2011 4:03:57 PM , Rating: 1
Geez, dude, take a pill. It's been in the news for the past few days because of this fire issue. Other than that I've seen all of a few tv ads for this car and it really hasn't been intrusive into everyone's daily life. It's GM's job to make it generally known that this vehicle is commercially available and it's different from nearly every other vehicle out there for the time being. Unless you're physically glued to every bit of news concerning the auto industry, you're making more out of your "inundated" situation than there is. If they really wanted to force this car on the public GM would need the government to mandate that every person buy this and only this car. I don't see that happening any time soon.

Quit your bitchin. You've made your point about not liking the car. We get it. Move along.

By Black1969ta on 11/30/2011 3:36:57 AM , Rating: 2
Yea, Volt lover, I only suggested my distaste for the Volt. I didn't ask you if you LIKED my reasons! AND YES, I do hate it in the news everyday. It's kind of like a political ad when it's election time. Every ad is about some freaking guy running for office. I do not need a daily update on a car that isn't selling as well as the maker thinks it should! Makes we want it even LESS!

So along that train of though(or lack there of) are you still holding onto hope that "Barbie" and "Hot Wheels" will fail because they advertise them all the time too?
Dr. I think your PhD just got P iled h igher and D eeper!

RE: "This isn't just a Volt issue..."
By Black1969ta on 11/30/2011 3:28:20 AM , Rating: 2
5- It's a freaking car and will not change the world!

Isn't that what wagon builders said about the steam car and then especially about Henry Ford's "automobile"?

People and their fear of change crack me up, just wait til the neighbor of this guy comes home in a hovercar!

"Phshaw,If god had wanted us to fly to work he would have made hot air balloons affordable for everyone, I'm happy with my old PEV!"

By Dr of crap on 12/1/2011 9:01:49 AM , Rating: 2
I'd buy a hovercar, but not the Volt.

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