GM hot to reassure Volt owners after battery blaze

General Motors has shifted into damage control gear since the latest news from the crash tests. 

 

General Motors has shifted into damage control gear since the latest news from the crash tests. In May, a Volt caught fire after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration put it through a simulated crash and rollover that cracked open the battery case. Since then, the agency has been trying to replicate the situation, and last week they succeeded in coaxing another battery to flame on.

Today, GM announced several initiatives for customer satisfaction and battery safety research. In an unprecedented move, they are offering a free GM loaner vehicle to any Volt owner concerned about safety, until resolution of the issue.

GM is also deploying a “senior engineering investigation team” to develop proper safety protocols for EV crashes, and already has a response procedure in place. According to a company spokesman, if a Volt crashes, GM is notified through OnStar and immediately dispatches a team to the site to hook up a unit and drain the battery.

“The Volt is a five-star safety car,” said Mark Reuss, GM’s North American chief. “Even though no customer has experienced in the real world what was identified in this latest testing of post-crash situations, we're taking critical steps to ensure customer satisfaction and safety. This technology should inspire confidence and pride, not raise any concern or doubt. The question is about how to deal with the battery days and weeks after a severe crash, making it a matter of interest not just for the Volt, but for our industry as we continue to advance the pursuit of electric vehicles.”

 

Image: General Motors