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GM is looking to pull in all 8,000 Volts off the road as well as the 4,400 for sale

General Motors (GM) is launching a customer service campaign, which is similar to a recall, on 8,000 Chevrolet Volts running on U.S. roads in an effort to address possible battery fire issues.

In May 2011, Chevrolet's plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (EV), the Volt, caught fire three weeks after a side-impact crash test conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The Volt was parked in a NHTSA testing facility in Wisconsin. The fire provoked an investigation into the safety of lithium batteries.

Later in November 2011, NHTSA conducted three more side-impact crash tests on three separate Volts. Two out of three ended up sparking or catching fire while the third remained normal.

GM took action right away, saying it will make any changes necessary to keep drivers safe. The automaker even offered loaner vehicles to Volt drivers that didn't feel safe in their vehicles, and said it'd buy Volts back from owners that requested to sell.

Now, GM is advising Volt owners to bring their EVs to the dealerships for a customer service campaign, which is like a recall but without the bad publicity attached. There are currently 8,000 Volts on U.S. roads and another 4,400 in showrooms for sale.

Dealers will address the battery issues by adding steel to the plate that protects the EV's T-shaped, 400-pound battery. This will prevent penetration into the battery in case of an auto accident, which will ultimately stop coolant from leaking. It will also evenly distribute the force of a crash.

NHTSA already tested Volts with the new added steel around the battery in December, and found that it was the right fix for the problem. However, it will continue to monitor the car for another week to make sure that it doesn't catch fire later on like the Volt back in May managed to do.

"The preliminary results of the crash test indicate the remedy proposed by General Motors today should address the issue," said NHTSA.

"We have tested the Volt's battery systems through [the equivalent of] 25 years of operation," said Mary Barra, GM's vice president for global product development. "We're taking these steps to provide peace of mind to our customers."

Sources: InsideBayArea, CNN

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RE: yikes...
By Aloonatic on 1/6/2012 11:34:34 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe things are different in the US, but over here in the UK it's not all that uncommon for every car from a certain year or production run to be recalled and have (sometimes major) work carried out on them.

We're not talking about ever GM car ever made here, just one model that hasn't been in production for long.

My point about them factoring in this kind of work still stands too (assuming that they have an ounce of sense, so granted I am going out on a limb here :o) ) as it's pretty obvious that any car using new technology like this would stand an greater chance of having to be recalled too, compared to a "normal" car that is in its infancy.

Of course, they may have been dumb and not realised any of this, who knows.

From a PR point, most people will forget (as you seem to have done with all the other recalls that have happened over the years), and owners will be probably be pleased that they are having the situation dealt with in a timely manner.

I'm not saying that it's great and that GM would have wanted this to happen, but it seems that people are once more guilty of waning the worst to happen to a company that they don't like for whatever reason and prophesying a company's doom just because they want it to happen rather than thinking it through.

RE: yikes...
By Reclaimer77 on 1/6/2012 12:47:00 PM , Rating: 2
From a PR point, most people will forget (as you seem to have done with all the other recalls that have happened over the years)

You mean other cars that DIDN'T have massive taxpayer subsidies we had to pay for? Well yeah...

"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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