You can say what you will about GM, but there’s no question that the company has been offering exemplary customer service (or is it damage control?) since the NHTSA launched a safety investigation into the Volt’s lithium-ion batteries
You can say what you will about GM, but there’s no question that the company has been offering exemplary customer service (or is it damage control?) since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched a safety investigation into the Volt’s lithium-ion batteries. CEO Dan Akerson told the Associated Press on Thursday that GM is prepared to recall and repair all 6,000 Volts on the road once the company and safety regulators have learned what caused three Volt batteries to catch fire after NHTSA crash tests. If necessary, the company will redesign the battery pack.
“If we find that is the solution, we will retrofit every one of them,” Akerson said. “We’ll make it right.”
Akerson also pointed out that the batteries in question only caught fire after being seriously abused in the tests. The fires happened seven days to three weeks after testers simulated side-impact crashes that crunched into the Volt’s battery packs by several inches, and then rotated the cars 360 degrees to simulate a rollover. No Volts involved in real-world crashes have caught fire.
Earlier this week, GM offered free loaner cars to all Volt owners. So far, only two have taken the company up on the offer. A GM spokesman has also told the Wall Street Journal that it will consider buying back Volts from any owners who are worried about the risk of fire.
So far, there’s no sign of any panic (except on AM radio talk shows). The Facebook Chevy Volt Owners Group, which has 223 members, said in an open letter posted today, “Volt owners are glad that NHTSA, GM, and other manufacturers have developed protocols to handle electric cars in a variety of circumstances. This is standard procedure with gas-powered cars and trucks as well. We are keeping the keys to our Volt. We love our Volt and we feel safe driving our Volt.”
Also on the sunny side, the Volt scored the top ranking in Consumer Reports’ yearly owner satisfaction survey – 93 percent of owners said they would buy one again. The survey was conducted before the latest battery troubles were announced.
Image: General Motors