GM Says if Volt Needs Battery Changes it Will Make Them
December 5, 2011 12:22 PM
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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 1:43:38 PM
Some people have other priorities with their conscience. Some people want America to have a fighting chance in manufacturing the PHEVs that are bound to become a big market (some simple math tells you that in Europe there's massive potential for cost savings over ICE).
Some people want to do something about urban air pollution by swapping local combustion with remote power generation. Studies estimates air pollution deaths at 70k/yr in the US. In Ontario (pop 13M), the Ontario Medical Association pegs the number at 9500/yr. I don't care much about global warming, but this is a real problem.
Some people don't want America sending out $300B+/yr to other countries for oil. If the economy recovers, that number will disproportionately go up.
And how does the Volt have range anxiety? 380 miles range doesn't stop half the automobiles on the road today from being useful. You just go to a gas station and refuel. Pure EVs have range anxiety (which is why I see them as a niche market long term). PHEVs don't.
"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay
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