According to the Associated Press, GM CEO Dan Akerson has said General Motors will buy back any Chevrolet Volt from owners who are concerned about the vehicle's fire risk. Akerson said that his company isn't making the move because the plug-in hybrids are unsafe, but because GM is committed to keeping its customers happy. The CEO also said that GM is prepared to recall the 6,000 Volt models currently on the road if the federal government deems such an action necessary. As you may recall, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration discovered that the Volt could catch fire several days after a severe side-impact crash and rollover.

NHTSA found that the vehicles could ignite anywhere from seven days to three weeks after the initial impact. GM believes the fires are a result of a failure in the battery pack's cooling system because the NHTSA test involved an intrusion of four-to-five inches into the vehicle's battery pack. Current testing standards call for no more than two inches of intrusion.

GM initially promised free loaner vehicles to any customer concerned with the safety of their Volt, and later said that the battery pack could be redesigned to better guard against this type of failure.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 72 Comments
      The Other Bob
      • 3 Years Ago
      With a 93% satisfaction rate a guess few will want to give their Volt back. Akerson needs to be put into a small box though. The more he talks about this, the more he makes it an actual issue. Until NHTSA is done with their investigation, he should just shut up.
        SethG
        • 3 Years Ago
        @The Other Bob
        I guess this might be a way to improve on that 93%. Turn the 7% into "former owners" and you're well on your way.
      Spartan
      • 3 Years Ago
      I know NHTSA wants these cars to be safe and all, but they way this has played out has been completely unnecessary. I don't know of any owners who keep their cars days after a side impact crash, and risk can be mitigated by draining the battery pack cooling system. What's the issue here?
      homerrlb
      • 3 Years Ago
      I hope that this doesn't send the wrong message to consumers about EVs. If for any reason this gets blown out of proportion like the Toyota/Audi debacle, this could be a serious blow to consumer confidence with all these fledgling EVs. Clearly this is a legitimate concern, but to an educated consumer/car lover (albeit few and far between) we know that the risk is fairly low.
      • 3 Years Ago
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        • 3 Years Ago
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          • 3 Years Ago
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          Chase
          • 3 Years Ago
          There is no car company on earth that hasn't had its products catch on fire. I mean just about every Ferrari model has been known to spontaneously combust while driving. I don't hear Ferrari being called a failure. Personally, I have no idea about the details of the Volt's incidents, but my first reaction upon hearing them is "this is only special because it is a controversial electric car". I also respect that even though the blame of the incidents is still up in the air, GM is willing to support its customers regardless. I do not understand how that could be criticized as something undesirable.
        Chase
        • 3 Years Ago
        Laser, Vaporware is something that is planned but never existed. The Volt exists dude. You have every right to have your point of view -- everyone gets that -- but you sound really dumb in trying so hard to give GM a bad name.
      • 3 Years Ago
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      Stinkyboy
      • 3 Years Ago
      HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA AH AH AH AH AH AH AHahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahah! how many years of hype? for a $40k car that should be sold for $25k. Chevy Volt - Your FIRED!
        bvz
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Stinkyboy
        Their fired what? Oh, you meant "you're fired." All those thousands of dollars spent on an education that should have cost $0.25. Stinkyboy, you're fired.
        N
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Stinkyboy
        Please, tell us about the bizzaro world you live in where first-generation technology can somehow be produced and sold for rock bottom prices. I'm sure GM would love to hear as well.
      Rick Intihar
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well that's going to suck next time you get into a terrible side impact or rollover accident and you're trapped in the car for 7 to 21 days. Buy them back and sell them to people for a discounted price. I'm not an idiot, I'll take one.
      sp33dklz
      • 3 Years Ago
      What's a Volt?
      Basil Exposition
      • 3 Years Ago
      Talk about making a mountain out of a mole hill.
      Dark Gnat
      • 3 Years Ago
      Bold move, considering there hasn't even been a recall yet. Say what you will about GM, but they are handling this way better than Toyota would have.
        aatbloke1967
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dark Gnat
        Naturally ... because "Japayan id one of those darn lil sliddy eyed evil empires, ain't it?" Prat.
          Dark Gnat
          • 3 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          Oooh, you called me a prat. I was almost insulted. You may have been living under a rock during the whole "unintended acceleration" scandal, where Toyota ignored the problem, and then blamed the customers, including people who died as a result of accidents. GM is obviously wanting to avoid that, and are taking a proactive stance. I'm betting they believe few people will take them up on the buyback offer, given that the approval rating is so high.
      Basil Exposition
      • 3 Years Ago
      If are this worried about what happens to your totaled car weeks after the accident, you could probably really benefit from a sustained therapy program with a licensed psychologist.
        Bryant Keith
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Basil Exposition
        IDK personally I'd like to know if my car was gonna catch fire when I got it back from the body shop 2 weeks after the accident....maybe my life is just more precious than your?
          Chase
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Bryant Keith
          As Basil said, the test that caused this is a side impact test. T-boning a unibody car at a speed that deploys the airbags will almost always equals a total loss.
      kevsflanagan
      • 3 Years Ago
      Starting to get a feeling this is the new Toyota UA fiasco. Most who own a Volt will freak out and get jitters over every lil smell when in reality there is no smell. Every little fender bender owners will freak out and claim "Its going to explode!". GM should not have put this offer on the table and should have stressed "The Volt in question was left in their lot for 3 weeks with the battery still attached. We are addressing this issue by putting a mandate that if any Volt is in a accident resulting in a total loss that the battery pack be removed promptly.". BAM! Problem solved well to me at least.
        ChrisH
        • 3 Years Ago
        @kevsflanagan
        I do not mean to slight the Volt, but realize it has been three cars that caught fire after a wreck. The first one took three weeks before it caught fire unattended, the second was about a week sitting on the lot, but the third was within hours. GM also stated they may (which means they really are worried) redesign the battery pack and such so there is something here they missed. It could be a part of the chassis or accessory item is penetrating the battery casing or cooling. The reason for the recall is an attempt to get out in front of any potential issue. The fact is, you cannot guarantee all Volts will be wrecked in an area where they will be handled properly after an accident. Let alone emergency responders have to be given additional data to protect themselves and the public. I am pretty sure that leakage information has already been addressed but I wonder if they are coming up with a fast discharge method now.
          Dark Gnat
          • 3 Years Ago
          @ChrisH
          Think about this: Did all firefighters and police officers know how to deal with gasoline leaks when the automobile first appeared? Do they not recieve training and retraining to deal with new chemicals and hazards? Things change.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @ChrisH
          [blocked]
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