Some Chevrolet Dealerships Passing on Volt EVs After Fire Concerns, Dwindling Customer Interest
January 23, 2012 5:07 PM
comment(s) - last by
Dealerships are turning down Volts GM wants to send them due to the recent battery fires and lack of sales
Earlier this month, GM announced that it was looking to pull in all 8,000 Chevrolet Volts off U.S. roads as well as the 4,400 for sale in showrooms for
a battery recall
. Volt dealers addressed the battery issues by adding steel to the plate that protects the EV's T-shaped, 400-pound battery. This steel would protect any penetration that could occur in an auto accident, and also evenly distribute the force of a crash. NHTSA tested the steel addition and announced that it would be a good fix.
Fixing the battery problem still hasn't made dealers feel any better, though. In fact, some Chevrolet dealers are turning away Volts that GM wants to ship to them partially because they're waiting for the fire situation to settle, and partially because the car just isn't selling the way GM wants it to.
Last month, GM sent 104 Volts to 14 dealers in the New York City market. The dealers only took 31 of them, which is the lowest rate take for any Chevrolet model in that particular market last month according to
Over on the west coast, Brett Hedrick, dealer principal at Hedrick's Chevrolet in Clovis, California, sold only 10 Volts last year total. For December 2011 and January 2012, he turned down all six Volt EVs allocated to him.
"[GM's] thinking we need six more Volts is just crazy," said Hedrick. "We've never sold more than two in a month."
This is particularly odd because Hedrick said he normally accepts most of the vehicles that GM allocates to his dealership.
GM sold a total of 7,671 Volts in the U.S. in 2011, which didn't quite hit the 10,000 mark the automaker was hoping for. Now, instead of pursuing the original Volt production goal of 60,000 units (where 75 percent would be for U.S. sales) for 2012, GM said it would simply make as many as customers wanted.
Rob Peterson, a GM spokesman, said that dealers were indeed making less Volt orders in recent months and that the dealers were "waiting for resolution of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's investigation."
Back in May 2011, GM's Chevrolet Volt underwent a series of tests at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) facility in Wisconsin. Three weeks after a side-impact crash test conducted on May 12, the Volt caught fire while parked in the testing center.
prompted an investigation
of the safety of lithium batteries used in plug-in electric vehicles. Lithium batteries can catch fire if the internal cells or the battery case are pierced by steel or another ferrous metal. In November, NHTSA conducted three additional side-impact crash tests with three separate Volts, and two out of the three sparked/caught fire after testing.
These battery issues caught a lot of attention from GM, customers, NHTSA and now dealers. GM was more than willing to do whatever it took to fix the problem, including
offering loaner vehicles
to scared Volt drivers and
buying back Volts
from any owner that asks.
GM chairman and CEO Dan Akerson was
called to testify
before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in regards to the Volt's battery fires last year. This testimony coupled with the recent recall should hopefully offer some resolution and put worried minds at ease.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Imagine That....
1/24/2012 11:47:26 AM
The earlier 2.5l had a precarious in the exhaust manifold. Usually between 45-75k miles it would disintegrate and fall through the exhaust valves into the cylinders and destroy the cylinders and pistons.
RE: Imagine That....
1/25/2012 9:17:24 PM
Mine never got to that point, in a sense. My 2002 Spec-V had horrible oil consumption issues ever since I bought it, I went through two transmissions because the gear synchros kept eating themselves (yes simply shifting into 6th to cruise, ended up grenading the first one) and the second one I checked when it started acting up and NO they did NOT install the revised trans, the MAF died at 24K, and the front and rear bumpers started to discolor.
I never had a chance for the butterfly screws to back out and fall into the intake, before I had them take it away.
All of this before 2 years and 26,000 miles of ownership.
Yet mysteriously, my catalytic was fine. Or was it... they claimed my VIN wasn't "within the affected range".
RE: Imagine That....
1/25/2012 9:18:50 PM
As a note, the first trans died within 6,000 miles.
"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive
GM CEO Called to Testify Before House Panel on Volt Fires
January 19, 2012, 9:50 PM
After Fire Issues, GM Prepares for Volt "Recall"
January 5, 2012, 11:26 PM
GM Will Buy Volts Back From Any Owner That Asks
December 2, 2011, 12:01 PM
GM Offers Loaner Vehicles For Scared Volt Owners
November 29, 2011, 11:20 AM
Chevrolet Volt Fire Leads to NHTSA Investigation of Lithium Batteries
November 12, 2011, 1:36 AM
Ford Expects Four-Cylinder Engines to Significantly Increase in Popularity
May 21, 2013, 8:56 AM
Toyota Wants to Increase Lithium-Ion Battery Production to 20,000/Year
May 20, 2013, 9:30 PM
Mercedes Aims for 45 MPG Highway on New E250 Bluetec 4Matic Diesel Sedan
May 20, 2013, 8:20 AM
Tesla to Issue More Stock, Pay Off Energy Loans with Proceeds
May 16, 2013, 1:58 PM
NC Becomes Latest State to Threaten Tesla's Direct Sales to Customers
May 14, 2013, 11:33 AM
Consumer Study Shows Buyers Are Embracing Fuel Sipping Vehicles
May 8, 2013, 11:09 AM
Most Popular Articles
High School Student Creates Storage Device that Can Charge in 20 Seconds
May 20, 2013, 6:51 AM
Seawater Cooling Saves Data Center Big Bucks, Energy, Despite Jellyfish Issues
May 17, 2013, 3:23 PM
Newegg Legal Chief: "We don't Feed the Trolls"; Defeats Bell Lab Shell Comp.
May 17, 2013, 10:11 AM
Former Intel CEO Regrets Passing Up on iPhone Gravy Train
May 17, 2013, 11:46 AM
NASA Awards $125,000 Grant for 3D Printed Food on Long-Term Space Travels
May 21, 2013, 1:32 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Lumosity: Does it Work?
May 22, 2013, 8:20 PM
Quick Note: Sony "Teases" PS4 Ahead of Xbox Reveal in New Video
May 20, 2013, 12:33 PM
Nokia Introduces Instagram-Like App of Its Own to Help Lumia Sales
May 20, 2013, 7:10 AM
Parents of Pre-Teen Drivers Commonly Practice Distracted Driving Says Study
May 9, 2013, 7:16 AM
Apple's iOS 7 Running Into Internal Delays Due to Massive Overhaul
May 1, 2013, 4:26 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2013 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information