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Fisker Karma  (Source: jalopnik.com)
A total of 26 employees were laid off

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) pulled the plug on a federal loan it provided to Fisker Automotive, forcing the automaker to stop work on a Delaware factory.

California-based Fisker Automotive, known for the $102,000 Karma plug-in and the Nina midsize sedan, received a total of $529 million in loans from DOE in April 2010. The loans were part of a program to progress development of high-tech vehicles, where Fisker received $169 million for Karma engineering and $359 million for Nina production. The loans were also meant to revamp a closed General Motors plant in Wilmington, Delaware for Fisker auto production. So far, Fisker has drawn down $193 million from its loans.

Fisker has been behind schedule on selling its first auto here in the U.S., and in May 2011, DOE blocked the loans previously provided to the automaker due to "unmet milestones." According to Damien LaVera, DOE only allows Fisker to use the loan if the auto company upholds its end of the deal and shows results. However, Fisker has been a little behind.

The lack of access to loans has affected work on the Delaware factory. In fact, work on the auto factory has now been halted, and 26 people were laid off.

"It's been frustrating that Fisker and the Department of Energy weren't able to come to terms on the revisions to the loan in time to avoid this," said Brian Selander, a spokesman for Delaware Governor Jack Markell. "I'd say the project is on hold while the two sides try to get things sorted out."

DOE seems to be a bit more cautious of who it provides its financial offerings to after the series of alternative energy failures through 2011 and 2012. In September 2011, Silicon Valley-based solar panel company Solyndra filed for bankruptcy after receiving a $535 million loan from DOE in 2009. Government officials reportedly warned the administration about Solyndra's viability back at that time, but these warnings were set aside to meet political deadlines.

In November 2011, Beacon Power, a company that creates flywheels to store power and increase grid efficiency by preventing blackouts, filed for bankruptcy after receiving a $43 million loan guarantee from DOE in August 2010.

Just last month, auto electric battery maker Ener1, whose EnerDel subsidiary received a $118.5 million DOE grant in August 2009, filed for bankruptcy.

Electric vehicles haven't had a great year, either. Last year, General Motors' Chevrolet Volt was heavily criticized after three Volts sparked or caught fire in a series of side-impact crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Fisker had some battery issues of its own as well back in December 2011, where over 200 Karma's were recalled.

Also, somewhat similar to Fisker's factory situation, an Indiana Think City EV plant has been sitting stagnant after failing to produce the Think City EVs, which are tiny two-seater EVs manufactured by Think Global.

Fisker CEO Henrik Fisker said the company sent 225 Karmas to dealers in December, with another 1,200 on the way.

Sources: The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek



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The media hurt the Volt not the crashes
By msheredy on 2/7/2012 12:09:25 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Last year, General Motors' Chevrolet Volt was heavily criticized after three Volts sparked or caught fire in a series of side-impact crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).


I want to see a raise of hands from readers (vote me up or down) who were unfortunate to have been in an accident and had their vehicle totaled. Don't vote quite yet. Out of those people how many of you actually kept your totaled vehicle in your possession?

The point I'm trying to make here is this, if you bought this car and got into a side-impact you'd be more likely to be injured from the impact rather than a fire because these "fires" occurred 3 weeks AFTER the crash tests.

Let's face it, ANY car can catch fire after an accident gas burners are probably more likely to do this all day long. As long as the car didn't spontaneously combust what the fuck's the big deal?




RE: The media hurt the Volt not the crashes
By Dr of crap on 2/7/2012 12:33:56 PM , Rating: 2
Hey, not that I'm a Volt lover or anything, but the media, once it gets it's hand on some piece of info, it just beats it to the ground.
But consider this, if the Volt gets into an accident, goes in for repairs, and if these fires hadn't have happened, then when the car goes back to the owner repaired, and it's parked in the garage charging, BAM, it starts on fire 3 weeks after the accident. That would have put the nails into the Volts coffin.
Can't wait for that to happen!!! Bring your weiners and marshmellows!


RE: The media hurt the Volt not the crashes
By Shig on 2/7/12, Rating: -1
RE: The media hurt the Volt not the crashes
By Reclaimer77 on 2/7/2012 2:07:33 PM , Rating: 1
That's ridiculous moral relativism. Apple never took zillions of dollars of taxpayer money to then make phones that exploded.

Seriously how can you not see the big difference here?

quote:
I never once heard of a Volt owner come out and publicly talk bad about their car, not once, some media.


So the "media" can't run relevant stories on something unless "you heard" of an owner of something speak positively?

You just really make no sense. You're trying WAY too hard here. I think thou protests too much.


RE: The media hurt the Volt not the crashes
By Keeir on 2/7/2012 7:34:21 PM , Rating: 1
Sigh, Reclaimer, you probably ought to be a bit more restrained.

quote:
Apple never took zillions of dollars of taxpayer money to then make phones that exploded.


Well. GM never took "zillions" of dollars. GM took loans, bailout money, and other assistance that will likely be in the billions of dollars, but whose final value is undetermined.

An even worse exaggeration when you consider GM produces many products and used the bailout funds in a variety of ways. One of which was to help the introduction of the Cruze to the US... a car I think you approve of...

I do not have the knowledge or skill to appropriate calculate the end cost to the US government for the development and deployment of the Volt. But lets stop assigning 100% of the bailout to one model that GM makes. It very well be that GM ends up taking millions of dollars to produce a car that catches fire when operated counter to its instruction manual. A crime that could rightly be held against every major car manufacturer in the US.


RE: The media hurt the Volt not the crashes
By Dorkyman on 2/7/2012 7:55:13 PM , Rating: 2
I dunno, the latest reports are that GM is going to net out at costing the taxpayer over $20 BILLION. That's close enough to "zillions" to me.


By Keeir on 2/7/2012 8:16:15 PM , Rating: 4
Since Zillion is a number with no formal definition, I guess it could mean anything.

Lets make an attempt then. In 2010, GM produced ~8.5 million automobiles. Lets take that 20 BILLION and assign it equally to each of the 8.5 million cars sold. That works out to be ~1,100 dollars per sold model (again, just one year). So lets say that's the bailout cost per model.

Seems like the Volt with a 60,000 yearly sales goal would really only account for say 66 million dollars of that bailout. Hmmm...

My number is of course ridiculous. But so is claiming "zillions."

If you want to be angry. Be angry at the UAW. Be angry at Obama. Be angry at GM management. Angry at a car model? Stupid.

Regardless of the Volt's failure or success, the method and cost of the Obama's administration action in bailing out GM was counter to the fundamental values espoused in both the US constitution and by Obama himself during his election campaign.

Continually attacking one particular car model is not a good strategy to bring this to attention. After all, if Volt 2.0 is widely successful, then Obama and the UAW I guess get a free pass? Lets focus on the real issues here.

Volt the car should be viewed in the context of its engineering and automotive merits.

GM bailout should focus on the frankly "Un-American" actions taken by our elected officials.


RE: The media hurt the Volt not the crashes
By Reclaimer77 on 2/7/2012 9:22:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Sigh, Reclaimer, you probably ought to be a bit more restrained.


And you're being far too obtuse.

quote:
I do not have the knowledge or skill to appropriate calculate the end cost to the US government for the development and deployment of the Volt.


Are you sure? Because from the way you've been bird dogging me on this issue, I thought you were an industry specialist and Government accountant.

So please. Apparently I'm wrong on all counts and have no valid opinions. Tell me how it is.

quote:
But lets stop assigning 100% of the bailout to one model that GM makes.


You just don't get it do you? I'm fundamentally apposed to the bailout for several reasons. It's not about the cars! It's about, good lord, I'm not going all into it again. I've said it a million times now. What happened was wrong, and goes against everything this country is supposed to be about. We cannot have our Government picking winners and losers, choosing to be a major shareholder in some companies, and letting others fail etc etc. Why is this so hard to understand?

Is your intention here to beat me into submission until I accept that's how things should be done? Good luck.


By Keeir on 2/7/2012 9:29:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I thought you were an industry specialist and Government accountant.


Hah. It would take a team of Government Accountants to track down every detail. We both know that.

Listen. I hate the Bailout. I hate it. But no amount of whining and crying will fix it. It shouldn't have happened. Too bad it did. I will remember as I have remember when voting.

But we have the situation we have. To vindictively punish one model of the company or the company is general is practing the same bullshit.

You are wasting taxpayer money (or cheering the waste) to make a political statement. I find this disgusting. Regardless of the political statement made.


RE: The media hurt the Volt not the crashes
By JediJeb on 2/7/2012 3:54:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Remember when there were cases of the iPhone catching on fire and 'exploding' in China / Japan? I didn't hear Fox News talk about that for 8 weeks straight. I never once heard of a Volt owner come out and publicly talk bad about their car, not once, some media.


How many iPhones have been sold versus how many exploded? When there are several million Volts on the road then these three will be more or less meaningless, but when it is in the first few, it does matter.

Also if I recall correctly there was quite a media furor over the antenna problem with the iPhone and that wasn't even as dangerous as possibly catching fire.


By Keeir on 2/7/2012 7:39:55 PM , Rating: 3
Since no Volt sold has caught fire in a similar way... one could argue that 0% of Volts have exhibited the problem. Its pretty hard to be lower than 0%.

quote:
Also if I recall correctly there was quite a media furor over the antenna problem with the iPhone and that wasn't even as dangerous as possibly catching fire.


Lets see. Product sold to millions of people with a defect that would occur at a rate of 100% during normal usage of the phone versus product sold to thousands with a potential defect that requires several unlikely steps taken in direct contradiction to written OEM recommendations. HRM. Those situations are alike! If its took coating your iPhone in butter to create the antenna problems... would there have been a media discussion of this problem then?


By Trisped on 2/7/2012 2:26:28 PM , Rating: 3
While an interesting hypothetical, your scenario is not realistic.

If a Volt is damaged in an accident such that it would cause a fire three weeks later, it would be because the battery had been punctured. As part of the repair process the battery would have been inspected, the puncture would have been found, and appropriate action would have taken place.

While I agree that the Volt should not catch fire, it is common sense that gas burning cars do catch fire after an accident. To prevent totaled cars from leaking gas and catching fire it is common practice to drain the gas tank. Doing the same with an electric vehicle, while not desirable, is reasonable.

I think with all the coverage a few facts are being ignored:
A. The fires only start when the vehicle has been in an accident sever enough to puncture the battery housing. With the number of Volts on the roads this fire event is not very likely.
B. GM has already fixed the issue by adding more shielding to the battery.


RE: The media hurt the Volt not the crashes
By Reclaimer77 on 2/7/2012 1:13:27 PM , Rating: 2
The Volt's sales were terrible before that story even broke. Not sure what your agenda is, but the truth isn't in it.


RE: The media hurt the Volt not the crashes
By Shig on 2/7/2012 1:13:53 PM , Rating: 2
But there were sales and GM is profitable, next rhetoric argument please.


RE: The media hurt the Volt not the crashes
By Reclaimer77 on 2/7/12, Rating: 0
RE: The media hurt the Volt not the crashes
By Shig on 2/7/2012 1:26:15 PM , Rating: 1
The Volt had it's best sales month in December, then the media ran the story about them that was mostly false and taken out of context for 5 straight weeks, then sales became the worst the following month.

And you're trying to claim the media didn't hurt them?

@Fleet buys - So you're against our own government fleet becoming less dependant on oil? A volt in our fleet replaces an old giant gas guzzler. But I guess that's bad too.


By Reclaimer77 on 2/7/2012 1:37:25 PM , Rating: 3
Shig do you understand what a "conflict of interest" is? Do you even have a concept on the idea?

Your statements lead me to believe you don't see the whole picture. In fact, I know you don't.


RE: The media hurt the Volt not the crashes
By Ringold on 2/7/2012 2:58:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
@Fleet buys - So you're against our own government fleet becoming less dependant on oil? A volt in our fleet replaces an old giant gas guzzler. But I guess that's bad too.


Is math a foreign concept to you, or perhaps efficiency? I want government to be as cost-effective as possible in the course of doing what it is we tell it to do. The Volt is over-priced for what it does. Not economically efficient. Fleet buys are just a form of subsidy, which we must pay in higher taxes. So yes, fleet purchases of a Volt by the government is bad, because its replacing an increasingly small dependence on foreign oil with a rapidly increasing dependence on foreign funding of our massive federal debt. That was obvious to me, but I guess not to the left.


RE: The media hurt the Volt not the crashes
By Keeir on 2/7/2012 6:34:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Is math a foreign concept to you, or perhaps efficiency?


Errr... actually Ringold, unless you have a great deal of non-public information, I doubt you've even done the math youself.

Information that needs to be supplied: (Guess)
Price per Volt Fleet: (40,000)
Overhead per Buy versus typical Fleet: (0)
Price per Gallon (US Gov): (3.00)
Price per kWh (US Gov): (0.05)
Daily Electrical Utilization Percentage: (75%)
Length of Usage: (150,000 miles)
Salvage Value: (10,000)
MPG of equivalent buy: (27 MPG EPA Fusion)
Fleet cost of equivalent buy: (20,000)
Salve Value: (5,000)
Do Fleet Sales count against Enacted Limits on EV Tax Credits? (No)

In the above situation, is the Volt a bad bargin? Yes. But then I am assuming the government is swapping the Volt in for a bargin basement Fusion (A very popular government fleet car) and I am getting a negative balance of only ~3,500. This would be easily overturned if the Government was paying itself the 7,500 credit, or if GM sold a special fleet package to US gov or the Volt is being used only when GPS is a requirement. In truth the Federal Government buys a wide assortment of fleet cars, and recent Fusion/Focus buys are some of the best in terms of MPG and overall TCO.

In conclusion, the Volt is likely a poor investment for the Federal Government, especially considering that the initial purchase difference will incur interest. But there are fleet cars that the government currently owns and uses that it would make sense to replace with a Volt (or other expensive hybrid). Do I trust the government to do so... probably not. But thats a very different set of assumptions than what you're using, which appear to me to be influenced more by right-wing rhetoric than by an actual mathematical analysis.


RE: The media hurt the Volt not the crashes
By Ringold on 2/7/2012 9:08:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In the above situation, is the Volt a bad bargin? Yes.


And then

quote:
But thats a very different set of assumptions than what you're using, which appear to me to be influenced more by right-wing rhetoric than by an actual mathematical analysis.


So I'm right when you engage the brain and look at some numbers, which consumers have done as well and why they realize the Volt is a poor choice. But, I'm wrong, because you get the sense I have conservative views. Troll. I wasn't aware desiring economic efficiency from government was necessarily conservative, either, but I guess these days it is.

Obviously there's an exception to everything and likely a few specific cases where a small number of Volts are more effective. But is that the general case? Doubtful. Seems to me like a bargain on a Ford Fiesta or some similar A-to-B people mover would be the best bet. Thanks though for agreeing with what the free market has already told us (that the Volt doesn't make economic sense), even if it pained you.


By Keeir on 2/7/2012 9:23:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Seems to me like a bargain on a Ford Fiesta or some similar A-to-B people mover would be the best bet.


Too bad the government doesn't really buy A/B market cars.

To asses whether the Volt was a good purchase or not for the Government, we need to consider the economic cost to the Government versus it's next most likely action, not your perceived best value to the Government.

I don't know where the Volt's have been deployed. But its well within the realm of possibility the Volt's are correctly deployed and the overall exercise was positive for the Government compared to the choices it would have made sans Volt. Or perhaps we should also express the same rage at Ford? The Government after all buys Fusion Hybrids and Escape Hybrids that make less economic sense than the Volt.


RE: The media hurt the Volt not the crashes
By Reclaimer77 on 2/7/2012 9:28:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
So I'm right when you engage the brain and look at some numbers, which consumers have done as well and why they realize the Volt is a poor choice. But, I'm wrong, because you get the sense I have conservative views. Troll.


Pretty much. He's very eloquent, but he seems to be arguing against the Conservatives here, even when he's agreeing with the message. By definition, that's trollish behavior.


By Spuke on 2/8/2012 10:14:12 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
By definition, that's trollish behavior.
Possibly, but Keeir strikes me as someone that isn't a conservative nor liberal OR maybe a bit of both. That would be a good description of me. I am a registered independent that votes republican mostly BUT there are issues that I'm liberal on. I like to be open to other ideas and ways to do things. I will say that I don't support anything that removes freedoms and rights even if that means we all "burn in hell" so to speak.


By Keeir on 2/7/2012 6:37:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
@Fleet buys - So you're against our own government fleet becoming less dependant on oil? A volt in our fleet replaces an old giant gas guzzler. But I guess that's bad too.


This is far from certain. While 1990s and early 2000 Government fleet purchases were dominated by American Made Vs and V8s, recent years have seen the Government fleet purchases focus in on I4s for some taskes. The question is where and how the Volt (or other expensive Hybrids) would be used. There are situations where the Volt makes sense versus the existing replacement car... and others where it does not... I doubt the US government is smart enough to use the Volt appropriately.


RE: The media hurt the Volt not the crashes
By hartleyb on 2/7/2012 2:43:14 PM , Rating: 2
This is an outright lie!!! The volt was not profitable for GM prior to the fires and recall. The actual numbers havn't been published, but GM hadn't even started to pay for the production cost before the volt tanked. For an automobile to be profitable it needs to sell in the range of 100000 to 200000 units to pay for the production line. The huge variation is due to type of Vehicle i.e. luxury vs. standard and the difficulty of the production i.e. trucks are actually easier to make then cars.


By Keeir on 2/7/2012 6:55:35 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
For an automobile to be profitable it needs to sell in the range of 100000 to 200000 units to pay for the production line.


Gosh! You're pretty good at telling the future. You already know that the GM won't sell 100,000 units on the tooling it invested to create the Volt line?!?

Did it occur to you that almost all of the "Volt" investments are dual use? The battery pack facility produced hybrid batteries as well. The production line could be converted to produce Cruzes, Sonics, or Malibus with relatively minor chances (in comparison to setting up a completely new line anwyway)

People who like to gloat about the Volt "failure" often use the above faulty logic to puff up the numbers. The Volt is a unique piece of Automotive hardware the required GM to invest in unique and cutting edge IP in car design, car toolings, etc, etc. Back in the 1990s, Toyota developed the Prius. It took 5+ years to sell 100,000 cars (Worldwide sales). At which point Toyota had invested in 2 revision of the original hardware! Although I don't like the Prius, there is no question that the Prius has been an effective Halo car for Toyota and is now transiting into a mass market status (more than 10 years after the original introduction)

Yet people expect:
Volt must be profitable in year 1 (took 7 years for the Prius to accomplish this)!
Volt must sell 60,000 units a year immediately (took 7 years for the Prius to accomplish this)!
Volt must never have any issues ever (Original Prius was not even released in the US... due in part to problems)!

This is stupid. Like it or hate it, the Volt is exactly the type of RD research you want a company to be investigating in the face of steadily rising fuel costs and the political climate both in the US and the World. I hope GM continues the effort. In hindsight, GM's handling of the EV-1 situation was the correct business case move at the time, but lacked the vision that successful companies rely on... Imagine a world where GM could release a 150 miles Corvette instead of Tesla producing the Roadster. Imagine a world where GM sells high tech automotive batteries to the world. Maybe in that world, GM doesn't require an Automotive Bail-out because it actually has the Engineering base to produce the products that keep it competitive in PR and sales floor.


RE: The media hurt the Volt not the crashes
By kattanna on 2/7/2012 1:31:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The Volt's sales were terrible before that story even broke.


LOL yep. 8000 sales in a year is horrible, period. even more so since it was being pushed as a general consumer vehicle.

8000 units a year is only great if you are someone like ferrari, but who would even seriously try to compare those 2

;>)


RE: The media hurt the Volt not the crashes
By Shig on 2/7/2012 1:35:10 PM , Rating: 1
The Toyota Prius sold <2000 it's first year, explain to me how it was a failure now.


RE: The media hurt the Volt not the crashes
By Shig on 2/7/2012 1:37:26 PM , Rating: 1
@Conflict of interest - You do realize the economic prosperity post WW2, that every republican likes to mention, was from that same 'conflict of interest'. Why are you so against the US helping it's own companies, they always have and every other major nation does the same. You clearly don't have a clue what you're talking about.


RE: The media hurt the Volt not the crashes
By Reclaimer77 on 2/7/2012 1:51:32 PM , Rating: 2
There is a clear conflict of interest when a government agency is in charge of investigating a government supported vehicle like the Volt. This would be a much more dangerous country if those that speak out against such conflicts are shouted down, as you and your Volt supporters want to do. These conflicts can occur in other areas and a President campaigning on GM's success while maintaining taxpayers' investment stake in the company sets a horrible precedent. How safe the Volt actually is isn't the point. The clear conflict of interest is.

The evidence is there that NHTSA waited over five months before disclosing that there was a fire. And that was only after a Bloomberg report hit that said that that fire existed. So there just seems to have been a double standard with how they treated the Toyota investigation and how they treated the Chevy Volt.

I don't know if you're being naive or overly-dismissive of these concerns. Seems like you're going to say anything to shout down the other side.


RE: The media hurt the Volt not the crashes
By Shig on 2/7/2012 2:01:40 PM , Rating: 2
Well the original claim was that the Volt would catch on fire weeks after a severe crash and it had not been attended to. This is true of any car, you cannot just leave a totaled car sitting somewhere with a volatile fuel source (any energy dense source) without taking care of it, that's common sense.

It reminds me of when that lady spilled coffee on herself and sued McDonalds, it's like really? You need to be told that?

Then after all this was said and done, the NHTSA constantly tested and still deemed it to be perfectly safe. In the case of Toyota's recall someone actually got hurt and could have killed others.

I agree that one could argue a slight conflict of interest, but it is blown way out of proportion. The NHTSA's job is to keep people safe and they did that.


RE: The media hurt the Volt not the crashes
By Reclaimer77 on 2/7/2012 2:33:10 PM , Rating: 2
But the people have a right to know these things. You seem to think it's fine for a Government agency to sit on a report for five months because it might look bad for the Government supported auto-makers new political flagship. That's not a situation I'm comfortable with. There's a clear conflict of interest here.

You act like Fox put sticks of dynamite in the Volt to show it exploding like Dateline NBC did with Gm trucks back in the 80's.

quote:
This is true of any car, you cannot just leave a totaled car sitting somewhere with a volatile fuel source (any energy dense source) without taking care of it, that's common sense.


Huh? I've been in accidents and had cars totaled, and at no point did the fuel tank have to be drained as a precaution. If fuel isn't leaking, there is virtually no potential risk.

quote:
Well the original claim was that the Volt would catch on fire weeks after a severe crash and it had not been attended to.


Yes but we need testing to know these things! How can you honestly expect people to not be concerned about something that might burn down, weeks later, after a collision? Normal cars just don't do that. What if the car doesn't have to be totaled for the battery to get compromised? What if it's sitting in a garage in your house and goes up in flames? Or the repair shop?

quote:
The NHTSA's job is to keep people safe and they did that.


Yes and because of that, GM is now wielding steel plates around the battery to further secure it. That's the point of testing. So what's the problem here? There was clearly a problem, NHTSA sat on that problem for half a year. Of course the media is going to jump on a story like that. Why did it take 5+ months? Politics is a pretty good guess.


By Keeir on 2/7/2012 7:26:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But the people have a right to know these things. You seem to think it's fine for a Government agency to sit on a report for five months because it might look bad for the Government supported auto-makers new political flagship. That's not a situation I'm comfortable with. There's a clear conflict of interest here.


Just to be clear though... if the Government did not own shares of GM, you'd be perfectly fine with handling of the situation?

quote:
Huh? I've been in accidents and had cars totaled, and at no point did the fuel tank have to be drained as a precaution. If fuel isn't leaking, there is virtually no potential risk.


Haven't really been in a total car then huh? Read your owners manual. Your not even recommended to use roadside flares if your suspect fuel leakage... or emergency lights.

quote:
Normal cars just don't do that.


No. Normal cars have a risk of catching fire at ANY time. Including but not limited to sitting alone in a garage. All cars have electrical systems that a run on a battery. The presence of the charged battery creates a system that can catch fire under numerous, albeit unlikely, situations.

quote:
GM is now wielding steel plates around the battery to further secure it.


Complete and total PR move. This does not prove there was a problem. This proves that GM thought it was cheaper to weld plates to 6,000 batteries than convince people it was not a problem.

quote:
Why did it take 5+ months?


That's a short frame of time. Why does Toyota still not have an adequate response to the thousands of acceleration issues reported from 2000-2008.

Reclaimer, I really don't understand why you're having difficulty here.

A car caught fire outside of a normal testing procedure with unknown causes and conflicts. The testing agency contacted with the OEM to conduct an investigation into an anomaly that might potentially have been safety related. Instead of rushing to report or conclude data the Agency and the OEM choose to conduct further testing to outline the anomaly. At no point was it clear there was a public safety issue, as running you car full speed into a pole and then sitting in it for weeks is not an expected consumer usage of a car.

You can choose to bring politics into the issue if you want... but the above situation occurs -daily-. I wouldn't doubt there are thousands of issues right now similar to the above, many of them significant worse than the Volt issues.


By Ringold on 2/7/2012 3:57:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You do realize the economic prosperity post WW2, that every republican likes to mention, was from that same 'conflict of interest'.


lolwut? You just oversimplified a million things way over your head, like going from little infrastructure to well-built out, natural gains that accrue to a free market economy from advances in technology, and world-beating competitiveness that also leads from that, as well as the steady advancement of GATT/WTO, and.. many other factors.

Besides, the country grew impressively at different points prior to WW2, when government spending as a % of GDP was miniscule. When it did pick up, it was at first for infrastructure (something which delivers a one time large gain, marginal from there) and military spending (which is by and large economically unproductive, if nationally necessary).


RE: The media hurt the Volt not the crashes
By kattanna on 2/7/2012 1:54:47 PM , Rating: 2
simple. it was a failure. and in its 1st year, 1997, it actually only sold around 300 total units. and they continued to lose money even though in 1998/1999 they sold 17K and 15K units.

the only thing that made it a success is the fact that toyota stuck with it for years and started selling it outside the japanese market, in 2000, before sales finally stated to amount to something that then made it profitable and allowed it to become the success we see today.

it wasnt until its 4th or 5th year that they started to make money off of it.

so.. is the volt a failure, you bet. the question is does GM have the cojones to hang in there for the long haul to see if this could be a success?

and to call it anything but the failure it is is simply deluding oneself with short sighted feel good euphemisms


RE: The media hurt the Volt not the crashes
By Shig on 2/7/2012 2:07:59 PM , Rating: 2
With that logic, cell phones, computers, the automobile itself, the internet, CD players, etc were all failures because they weren't wildly successful and insanely profitable the first year.


By kattanna on 2/7/2012 2:12:11 PM , Rating: 2
LOL !! man you remind me of this really old saying

quote:
trying to win an argument on the internet is like running in the special olympics, even if you win, your still a retard


its a horrible saying to be sure, but it certainly pertains to you.

go be an ignorant troll somewhere else

;>)



By Trisped on 2/7/2012 2:40:17 PM , Rating: 2
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Failure
quote:
Failure refers to the state or condition of not meeting a desirable or intended objective, and may be viewed as the opposite of success. Product failure ranges from failure to sell the product to fracture of the product, in the worst cases leading to personal injury, the province of forensic engineering.

By my understanding of the word, the Prius is not a failure. That it did not do well its first year is true. The Volt, also did not do well its first year, but there is still hope that it will become a popular and successful model.


By Keeir on 2/7/2012 7:45:22 PM , Rating: 2
Try more like 7 years. It wasn't until the 5th year they started making a marginal profit.

The real "profit" of the Prius is that it was a Halo product that convinced the US and Japanese public that Toyota sold fuel efficient cars, regardless of the facts of the situation. Given the mix of Toyota models actually available (in the US), Toyota is really only middling when it comes to fuel economy especially from 2005-2010.

As a Halo product Prius might have been work 100 dollars per car sold. Thats where the big profit is/has been. Image creation.


RE: The media hurt the Volt not the crashes
By Qapa on 2/7/2012 5:30:59 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is simply, that 3 weeks later, you wouldn't be expecting it, and might be going about your normal life, driving... and all of the sudden it would catch fire.

At that point, I'm not sure how fast it would be, but it would most probably be scary enough that you'd have another accident ;) or fast enough that you wouldn't be able to leave the car, at least without getting burned...


By Rukkian on 2/8/2012 10:14:05 AM , Rating: 2
If a car is Totaled , which these were, you would not be driving it, it would be in a junkyard. These were not drivable, and not worth fixing as the were totaled. This required a side impact of such force that the whole side was caved in.


By BZDTemp on 2/8/2012 3:57:45 AM , Rating: 2
The thing is these three cars pretty much did spontaneously combust!

You're thinking of this wrong other cars do not burst into flames three weeks after an accident and the issue is that those cars could have been back on the road. Plus it's not it just happened in a freak 1 in a million thing it happened to all three cars.

Might I suggest you look into the issue a bit more.


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