Click the Saturn Vue Hybrid for a high res gallery
It's no secret that General Motors' hybrid sales are nothing to brag about, especially when compared to cross-town rival Ford and, especially, cross-ocean rival Toyota. While the overall sales direction is positive, sales were most certainly negatively impacted by a problem with battery packs manufactured by Cobasys which were intended for installation in mild hybrid versions of the Chevrolet Malibu, Saturn Vue and Saturn Aura. According to reports, some nine-thousand batteries had to be recalled and replaced due to an internal leak which made the entire pack inoperable. Although the vehicles themselves would still operate, the hybrid system would not.
GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson put it well when he said, "I don't know how many hybrids we could have sold, but we would have had at least 9,000 more batteries for the pipeline." There appears to be light at the end of the tunnel, though, as Cobasys claims to have resolved the problem and Chevrolet reports that production of the 2009 Malibu hybrid is on target for June 23.
[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]