GM has worked long and hard to bring the Volt to market and the car is now facing its biggest challenge with several fires erupting after crash tests. The car was originally unveiled back in 2007 and then it took longer than GM had hoped to get the car onto the market for consumers to buy. The Volt has hit a few speed bumps along the way, but the cars have been selling and are nice options for the green fans that want an EV but don’t want to worry about how far they can drive. The Volt can go 40 miles on battery power alone and has a range of 379 miles with the gasoline generator.
In side crash testing at the NHTSA the Volt passed with no issues. The catch was that three weeks after the crash test the Volt used caught fire. This prompted an investigation into the Volt and its battery packs along with an investigation into the EV market in general to ensure that the battery packs were safe after an accident. Two more crash tested Volts since that original fire have also caught fire after side impact testing.
GM is taking its punches on the chin and is working hard to make owners of the Volt feel safe and secure while the investigation is ongoing. Working in GMs favor right now is that there have been no fires on the road, the fires have only happened in testing. GM is offering Volt owners the loan of another GM vehicle until the investigation into the battery packs is complete. GM has also noted that it has a process to depower the batteries after a crash and the batteries in the test cars that caught fire were not depowered. One of the tested Volts started smoking and sparking immediately after crash testing, presumably making depowering impossible in such instances.
[via Business Week]