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: I doubt the fire risk is that high
1/24/2012 1:51:54 PM
I call BS on your Prius comments they are just patently false. My 2004 Prius has 255k miles on it and still averages 50MPG I drive it on the highway every work day 150 miles round trip. Other than a couple recalls(far less than other cars I have owned) the only problem I have had with it was the smaller battery that controls the cabin electronics died; something the mechanic said was common after 150k miles. I still have the original front brake pads on the car!
"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton
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
Hot Air? President Obama, G7 Pledge to Eliminate Most Fossil Fuel Use by 2100
June 8, 2015, 5:40 PM
Study Predicts Self-Driving Vehicles Could Rake in Billions
March 6, 2015, 8:34 AM
Dual-Motor Tesla Model S P85D's "Insane Mode" Shocks Passengers
January 28, 2015, 11:18 PM
2016 Cadillac CTS-V Packs 640 hp Punch with 200 mph Reach
January 23, 2015, 3:25 PM
BMW Testing Tech to Allow Users to Auto-Park, Summon Cars Via Smartwatch
December 16, 2014, 9:30 AM
Lamborghini Offers Up $6,000 Leather-Bound Android Smartphone
December 12, 2014, 3:12 PM
Most Popular Articles
Worth the Wait? Microsoft Teases at Windows 10 Flagship Phones to Air Oct. 6
September 15, 2015, 5:13 PM
Apple's First Fixes to iOS 9 Land w/ iOS 9.0.1 Release
September 23, 2015, 6:11 PM
Breaking Bad: How to Crash Google's Chrome Browser With Just 8 Characters
September 23, 2015, 11:08 AM
Apple Watch Commands 2 in 3 Smart Watch Sales, WatchOS 2 Sweetens the Pitch
September 20, 2015, 6:07 PM
Fakebook Pt. I: From "The Chive" to "AskMen"; How Facebook's Phonies are Born and Used
September 15, 2015, 4:00 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information