Print 30 comment(s) - last by Jedi2155.. on Jan 31 at 6:12 AM

GM now working on making Volt image better

GM is hard at work on fixing the tarnished image of the Volt after the fire investigation. The Volt drama started when a crash tested vehicle caught fire three weeks after being tested while sitting in the parking lot of a government test facility. The fire was large enough to damage vehicles nearby.
GM's CEO was called to testify before a House panel as part of the investigation into the fire and the methods in which the fire was disclosed. The day after the testimony was given; GM has acknowledged that the fire investigation had an impact on sales. GM started airing a new commercial on TV stations around the country that focuses on the Volt in an effort to improve the car's image.
The new commercial is called "Morning in Hamtramck." Hamtramck is the city where the Volt is constructed and is a suburb of Detroit. The commercial sees the Volts rolling down an assembly line on the main street of Hamtramck. The commercial touts the Volt as "the car that America had to build" and the commercial says that GM built the car for "for our town, for our country, for our future."

The commercial is perhaps the most visible part of the efforts to buff the tarnish off the Volt image. GM North American VP Mark Reuss sent a letter to Volt owners around the country this week that thanked the owners for their support. Despite GM offering to buy back Volts from worried owners no one asked for their car to be bought back. GM also offered loaner vehicles until the investigation was complete.
Detroit News reports that Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was at the Washington Autoshow and noted that he is satisfied that the Volt is safe. LaHood also denied GM was given any preferential treatment in the investigation. There were some allegations that the delay in telling the public about the fire in testing, which spanned months, was preferential to GM. LaHood also said that it would have been inappropriate to disclose details on the fire until the investigation was complete.

Source: Detroit News

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So stupid
By Stuka on 1/27/2012 11:05:41 AM , Rating: 3
Seems obvious to me... with ANY electic capable vehicle, the battery pack should be required to be be removed immediately following an accident that it can't drive away from. I'm looking at insurance companies here. When they get a claim filed for one, you get it towed to an approved shop/wrecker who removes the pack and stores it seperately. Should probably even disharge it under controlled conditions. It's in the insurance companies' interest to halt this as much as anyone else.

Do they leave gas in the ruptured tanks of petrol cars after they're totalled in these tests? I reckon not, because there's at least an enviro regulation against it.

RE: So stupid
By RDO CA on 1/27/2012 11:50:01 AM , Rating: 2
The procedure that was not followed on the fire car after the crash test is to cut a wire to take the electronics out of the system. All first responders have been made aware of this and it is noted in a sticker on the car. In addition when OnStar sees a bad crash they send a trained gm person to the site and they have proper equipment to safely discharge the battery. This is a great car and cuts our use of foreign oil. I drove mine last year 5k miles and used 2.4 gals of gas and about $20 per month in electricity in CA where el cost is very high. I have gone over 100mph on battery only and it performs quite well. It does not turn on the gas engine at all like the Prius until the battery is down to the lower buffer limit. You get about 40-45 miles (in Ca where I live) on a chg.
Drive one you might even like it instead of just bashing.(I know you were probably deprived as a child)

RE: So stupid
By drycrust3 on 1/27/2012 3:24:36 PM , Rating: 2
the battery pack should be required to be be removed immediately following an accident that it can't drive away from

One of the problems I see is car manufacturers seem to regard the battery in a regular car as an accessory, not as an essential part of the car, so they don't have things like a master switch and a main fuse between the battery and the rest of the car.
My guess is the same approach was made with the Volt, so that there were cables and wiring that had no fuse or circuit breaker protection running around the car.
One of the problems we have is we don't really know why the car caught fire, which is frustrating because the cause may have been unrelated to the crash test (although it probably was caused by the crash test).
That said, I think your idea that the battery be removed is probably the easiest and safest approach.
As I understand these batteries, you can't actually discharge them completely without damaging them, so leaving the battery in the car and discharging it doesn't necessarily mean the battery is dead, which is why removing it sounds the better option.
Of course, all this adds to the cost of towing and storing the car.

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