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Following in the wake of the highly publicized Chevrolet Volt battery fire issue, GM is now working to fix the problems, which are said to include adding reinforcements around the car’s battery pack along with protection to prevent coolant leakage as well as laminating electrical circuits.
However, the cost in doing so will reportedly work out to about $9 million, which translates to around $1,000 per Volt currently on the road.
Nonetheless despite the fires, reportedly caused by coolant leaking and then crystalizing to cause electrical shorts, neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (which reported no fires as the result of its own crash testing) have plans to change the five-star crash ratings they awarded the Volt earlier this year.
GM, despite offering a free loaner program to concerned customers, is also saying that the Volt poses no immediate fire risk to customers following an accident, a sentiment echoed by US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. So far, around 33 customers have taken advantage of GM’s loaner program.
Chevrolet‘s Volt has been in the spotlight almost since the day the first concept was revealed back in 2006. Yet the most recent round of publicity probably isn’t as positive as General Motors would like.
It focuses on the wake of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation, regarding three battery fires that resulted from Chevy Volt crash tests conducted by the agency.
In response GM has sent out letters detailing the findings of the investigation to some 2,500 dealers across the US and more than 5,000 Volt owners. It has also instigated a nationwide program of offering loaner vehicles to Volt customers who feel their vehicles are unsafe.
Yet, according to Automotive News, there hasn’t been a great deal of flag raising among concessionaires across the US, nor their existing Volt customers. One dealer, in Los Angeles, said his staff will refer customers to a GM provided on-site Volt adviser if they raise the issue concerning the battery fires, though so far nobody has expressed any concern in the matter.
Another dealer in Newport News, Virginia reported much the same scenario. Danny Lane, new vehicle sales manager at Casey Chevrolet said that while staff have been trained to handle questions from customers, “none of them so far has said anything [about the issue].”
[Source: Automotive News]