GM Working To Assure Volt Owners That Car Is Safe
Company offering loaner cars to nervous owners.
Web2Carz Senior Writer
Published: November 28th, 2011
After a Chevrolet Volt caught fire while sitting in a parking lot after being crash-tested, GM is seeking to reassure nervous owners that there’s nothing to worry about.
The company is offering loaner vehicles to Volt owners who feel in need of some extra piece of mind and GM engineers will work with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to make sure the incident is isolated, and to make changes if need be. So far, one other fire has occurred under conditions recreating the original fire, while another battery sparked briefly. All three incidents occurred in vehicles that had been crash-tested by NHTSA—again, with the latter two attempting to re-create the conditions that caused the first fire. No incidents have been reported involving Volts sold to consumers.
We’re of the mind that one incident does not a panic make, especially since the conditions that caused the fire would appear to only apply after an accident, meaning that the Volt is unlikely to have the same problem in real-world driving. If such an incident occurs again, it will likely happen if a damaged Volt is parked, not if an intact one is being used. At least, that’s our understanding.
GM also has safety procedures in place to prevent post-crash fires. Despite all this, the media is giving a lot of attention to the story. This is likely because of the Volt’s polarizing status as the first mass-produced extended-range electric vehicle, and GM’s place as one of the country’s most polarizing major companies (particularly post-bankruptcy).
To us, though, it seems like much ado about nothing. Yes, the fires need to be investigated and taken seriously, but so far it appears that Volt owners have nothing to worry about unless the car is in a major accident, and in that case, if proper safety protocol is followed, no fires should occur.
Things may change, of course, but right now, when there’s smoke, there may not actually be fire.
[Sources: GM, Green Car Reports]Related Vehicles: 2012 chevrolet volt