GM Says if Volt Needs Battery Changes it Will Make Them
December 5, 2011 12:22 PM
comment(s) - last by
It's too early in the investigation to know if changes are needed
The Chevrolet Volt is the first and only extended range EV on the U.S. market today. The Volt has been in the spotlight recently after the NHTSA found that
two of three vehicles
caught fire after side impact testing. One of the vehicles that caught fire didn’t burst into flames until three weeks after the crash test. The other started sparking and smoking immediately after the test.
Understandably, GM is eager to get to the root of the problem with the Volt fires. GM's Mary Barra, VP of global product development for GM said, "I have engineers working shoulder-to-shoulder with the NHTSA engineers right now," said Mary Barra, vice president of global product development for GM. "We are looking to say, 'Are there some design changes that we can make — something more robust in this location or that location or this component?'"
However, the automaker does note that any changes would need to be rigorously tested both at GM and with outside sources.
GM also says that if the investigation determines that changes need to be made to the design of the battery packs, it will make those changes as quickly as possible. She also points out that there still isn't any indication of just how long the investigation into the fires will last.
GM's Mary Barra with a Chevrolet Cruze [Source: GM]
GM is taking the concerns of the roughly 6,000 Volt owners in the U.S. seriously and has offered to
loan Volt owners
a different vehicle until the investigating is completed. GM has also noted that if a Volt owner wanted to
sell their Volt back
to GM, it would buy the car back. Originally, it sounded like all the Volt owner had to do was ask and GM would buy their car back. Some statements that Barra made make it sound as though a buyback isn't a given in each case. Barra said, "First, we're going to have a conversation and understand their specific concern."
She added, "But if, as we go through that process, we get to a point where we think it's the right thing to do for that customer to protect the customer's satisfaction and show that General Motors puts the customers first, then that's what we'll do."
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RE: This car was complete fail...
12/6/2011 9:12:45 PM
Because it doesn't have as much "value" as a 10-year old Honda?
That is a 12 year old Honda now and no the Volt doesn't have as much value for me personally. The beauty of buying a used good car is that yes they are cheaper and if you take care of it they will last as long as new. Insurance is cheaper, no car payments, etc... you get it.
I can't say never, but I probably will not buy new again, and yes I have a bias against GM. Long before GM became Government Motors or even had envisioned the Volt, I had driven hundreds of GM cars through Avis.
I would say that yes rentals get abused but it was never the older abused cars that were the worst, it was always the one with less than 100 miles on it. Had them strand me several times, once in a very dangerous situation, had things stop working (AC, lights, radio) and even had a couple that things literally fell off of them when I slammed the door (including the drivers side door due to bad welds it looked like).
So we know that there are people out there like yourself who like the Volt and think that it will sell in great numbers, but it is not for everybody. To much money, not enough car and that is based on the specs, don't need to drive one. Driven all kinds of cars from all over the world and this would be just another ho-hum experience.
I am also not convinced that Volt will sell in great number either for a couple of reasons, first, this is a boutique car, it is priced as such and it's target market is very small. Second it is GM, many people out there besides me have had bad experiences with the many brands and also the Feds bailing them out.
I will also point out that sales numbers do not seem to be increasing, but staying steady and for a premier of a new model that is not really a good thing.
The issue with the fires is singular to the Volt. The Nissan leaf had to go through the same crash tests and also has had several that have been involved in accidents on the road and we have not seen fires in them, as have the Teslas that are out there, so GM is to blame here no doubt. This is just another black eye for a car that was hyped to death.
"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer
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