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...
12/9/2011 1:12:06 PM
What if you want a car for a daily commute with a better ride than the Prius? You do realize that millions of cars each year are sold for that purpose, right?
I am a bit dismayed in the Volt's price, though. Hybrids sell for maybe $5000 more than their non-hybrid equivalent, and PHEV really only needs a bigger battery and charger on top of that. That shouldn't cost $40k.
Still, even with this price GM should be doing better numbers in Europe where the cost of fuel is high. If I'm a company, PHEV is a godsend for my corporate fleet, and as long as a battery has a long life it won't depreciate, so GM could keep lease rates low enough to make them economical.
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