The 2011 Chevrolet Volt
Patrick Rall's picture

GM may buy back Chevrolet Volts from owners concerned about fires

General Motors CEO Dan Akerson recently announced that the American automaker will buy back 2011 Chevrolet Volt electric vehicles from any owners who are foolishly concerned about the “fire risk” stemming from the recent NHTSA investigation into the safety of lithium ion batteries.

Akerson went on to point out that GM is not looking to buy back the 2011 Chevy Volt because there is any real safety or quality concern issue but instead, the company is extending this offer to Volt owners in an effort to make sure that their owners are happy with their business with GM. This announcement comes on the heels of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation into the possible risk of fire with lithium ion-powered vehicles after a 2011 Chevy Volt burst into flames several weeks after governmental crash testing. The news of the badly wrecked Volt bursting into flames at an NHTSA storage facility has evidently caused some owners to question the safety of their Volt, even though this car had been intentionally wrecked as part of routine testing procedures after easily meeting ox exceeding all government safety standards.

For those unsure, this all started after a 2011 Chevrolet Volt had been used for side impact crash testing by the NHTSA. After these tests were completed (and the Volt exceeded all government standards), the car was left to sit unattended in a holding facility in Wisconsin. After three weeks of sitting there, wrecked, the Volt caught fire and evidently burned up pretty badly. Mind you, the car didn’t catch fire during any of the crash tests or even immediately after but with three weeks of sitting exposed to the elements in Wisconsin the Volt caught fire. Based on that, you would have to wonder why a Volt owner would care what happens to their car three weeks after being totaled - as few (if any) people who total their cars hold onto them for any length of time - but as can be expected in the United States a handful of owners are frightened at the proposed risk of their car catching fire almost a month after crashing.

In any case, General Motors has graciously offered to buy back the 2011 Chevrolet Volt from any of the current owners who feel that their car is at risk of catching fire. GM has also stated that they are looking at a possible redesign of the Volt battery even though there has not been a single report of a Volt catching fire after a real-world accident and once the NHTSA/GM have figured out exactly what is causing the post-crash fires in the Volt, GM may issue a recall to fix the problem in the 6,000+ electric Chevys on the road today. Luckily for GM, there cannot be too many 2011 Volt owners who are worried about their car bursting into flames weeks after being hammered from the side and flipped over, as Consumer Reports recently announced that some 93% of Volt owners are happy with their purchase - making the Volt tops in the industry in the most recent study.

Other GM News:
GM says de-charging after severe crashes to define new safety protocol for Chevy Volt
TorqueNews review of the 2011 Chevy Volt: 109mpg and endless range
Jay Leno drives his Chevy Volt 11,000 miles without buying gas
The 2012 Chevrolet Camaro stakes its claim as the safest car in the US
Chevrolet Volt fire could bring about new EV regulations

Source: MSNBC

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