Entries in Chevy Volt (9)


GM to Temporarily Halt Chevrolet Volt Production Due to Poor Sales

General Motors(DETROIT) -- At least 1,300 workers will be temporarily laid off following a decision by General Motors to halt production of the Chevrolet Volt.

GM confirmed that for five weeks the company will suspend production of the hybrid electric car in the spring due to disappointing sales, reports the Guardian.

Production of the Volt and the Opel Ampera is expected to stop from March 19 to April 23. The announcement comes a day after the company released February sales figures which showed an increase of 1.1 percent from Feb. 2011.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


GM CEO to Appear Before Congress over Chevy Volt Fires

General Motors(WASHINGTON) -- The head of General Motors will appear before a Congressional Committee on Wednesday to answer questions regarding the safety of the new Chevy Volt following a recent investigation into its batteries catching fire.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began conducting tests on the all-electric car last June after fires broke out three weeks after the agency ran crash tests on the vehicle. On Nov. 25, the NHTSA opened an investigation to examine the post-crash fire risk.

Last Friday, the agency wrapped up its investigation and claimed that despite the disturbing incidents, "no discernible [safety] defect trend exists and that the vehicle modifications recently developed by General Motors reduce the potential for battery intrusion resulting from side impacts."

The NHTSA further concluded that it, "does not believe that Chevy Volts or other electric vehicles pose a greater risk of fire than gasoline-powered vehicles."

However, Republican critics in Congress question the agency's judgment. They suspect a conflict of interest may be in play, considering the government still owns part of GM, and the Obama Administration is heavily invested -- literally and figuratively -- to show the Volt as a success, despite dismal sales and safety concerns.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


GM Offers Fix for Potentially Deadly Chevy Volt Battery

General Motors(DETROIT) -- General Motors says it will make enhancements to the Chevy Volt's structure and battery coolant system to protect the battery from the possibility of an electrical fire after a crash.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation into the problem back in November of 2011 after a severe impact test crash resulted in the car catching fire six days later.  

GM North America president Mark Reuss says there have been “no real-world incidents like the one NHTSA experienced after its severe crash test.”

The company’s focus, Reuss says, is “doing what’s right by our customers."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


GM Willing to Buy Back Chevy Volts from Nervous Owners

General Motors(DETROIT) -- General Motors insists its Chevy Volt is a safe car, despite a government report that the all-electric vehicle could catch fire, but in an effort to ease fears, the carmaker has promised to buy back any Volt from a customer who is worried about it bursting into flames.

GM spokesman Greg Martin says a few customers have inquired about the company repurchasing their Volts and they're "gonna consider it strongly."

Worries about the Chevy Volt surfaced after a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated the vehicle’s 400-pound battery pack could potentially catch fire days or weeks after the car was involved in an accident.

The NHTSA says fires broke out in three Volts a week or more after side-impact crash tests.  GM says the tests were extreme and insists the Volt is safe, but will give out loaner cars to U.S. Volt owners and hold off delivery of the cars in Europe until problems with the battery packs are worked out.

There are about 6,000 Chevy Volts on the road.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


GM Offers Loaner Cars to Volt Owners Amid Battery Malfunction Probe

General Motors(DETROIT) -- General Motors announced Monday it would be loaning out vehicles to the more than 5,000 Chevy Volt owners as it probes a possible malfunction with the electric car's battery packs.

Last week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration drew attention to problems with the 400-pound battery pack that could potentially catch fire days or weeks after the car was involved in an accident.

After crash tests performed by the NHTSA, the lithium-ion battery pack either caught fire or began smoking and shooting out sparks.

In a statement, Mark Reuss, the president of GM North America, said that "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."

"Our customers' peace of mind is too important to us for there to be any concern or any worry," he added.

Reuss said any Volt owner with safety concerns can request a free loaner vehicle from the automaker while it works on resolving the issue.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf Earn Highest Safety Ratings in Crash Test

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety(ARLINGTON, Va.) -- As gas prices continue to soar, more drivers are turning their attention towards electric vehicles.  But just how safe are they?

In the first-ever U.S. crash test of electric cars, both the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf performed well, gaining the top rating for front, side, rear and rollover crash protection.  The highest safety ratings garnered both vehicles the title of Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

"What powers the wheels is different, but the level of safety for the Volt and Leaf is as high as any of our other top crash test performers," said Joe Nolan, the Institute's chief administrative officer.

Nolan advised, however, that both vehicles' performance in the crash tests doesn't mean all electric vehicles are safe.

"The Volt and the Leaf shouldn't be confused with golf cart-like electric vehicles that don't have to meet any of the federal standards for crash worthiness," he said.

The Volt and Leaf offer some extra protection because they're heavy -- much of their weight comes from their batteries.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Even Electric Cars Are No Safe Haven from High Gas Prices

Nissan Motor Co(NEW YORK) -- While oil and gas prices have been pushed higher by unrest in the Middle East, consumers have not yet run to the newest electric vehicles on the market.  President Obama has said he hopes to have a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015, in part to decrease American dependency on foreign oil.

An electric vehicle can allow consumers to purchase less gas and decrease our dependency on oil, but the cost savings vary both by consumer and by car.

Because both electric and hybrid vehicles are more expensive than most other vehicles, they may not give you any savings over a conventional car, said Eric Evarts, associate autos editor with Consumer Reports.

The Chevrolet Volt and Nissan LEAF, both released in December, are the most recent additions to the mainstream electric car market.  Both have gasoline engines, but only to supplement their electric motors.  Drivers plug them in to recharge their batteries while they're parked.

The Chevy Volt car has a base price of $40,280, while the Nissan LEAF can cost from $32,780 to $33,720, according to  Chevrolet's website touts a $32,780 price after a maximum $7,500 federal tax credit.  Similarly, Nissan says you'll pay $25,280 after those tax savings.

"They're not going to save money buying these cars," Evarts said about drivers who may purchase these two latest electric vehicles.  "With gas and electricity expenses as they are, you're not going to pay them off any time soon."

General Motors, parent company of Chevrolet, announced this week that it sold just 281 Volt cars in February, down from 321 in January.  Nissan sold 67 LEAF cars in February, down from 87 in January.  In December, Nissan sold 19 LEAF vehicles while GM sold 326 Volts.

Evarts said one reason these electric cars are not flying out of showrooms just yet is that there are less expensive cars, similar in size to the Volt and LEAF, that have good fuel efficiency.  He points to the Toyota Prius, a hybrid vehicle, as a possible fit for drivers with longer commutes.

"The Prius has more cargo, is likely more reliable with better mileage than the Volt on gas," said Everts, "and it costs half as much." 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


GM Begins Shipping Chevrolet Volts to US Dealerships

Photo Courtesy - Chevrolet [dot] com(DETROIT) -- The first batch of Chevrolet Volts are on their way to car dealers across the United States, according to General Motors.

The electric vehicles left the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant on Monday and are being shipped to their initial launch markets in California, Texas, Washington, D.C. and New York.  GM says a total of 160 Volts are expected to be shipped by this week.

“Today is a historic milestone for Chevrolet,” said Tony DiSalle, Volt marketing director.  “We have redefined automotive transportation with the Volt, and soon the first customers will be able to experience gas-free commuting with the freedom to take an extended trip whenever or wherever they want.”

The Volt combines "battery-only electric driving with an efficient, gas-powered engine" that allows the vehicle to go 379 miles before having to recharge its battery or fill up its gas tank.  It is the only electric vehicle that is mass produced in the U.S.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Chevy Volt is ‘Game-Changer,' Car of the Year 

Photo Courtesy of Chevrolet dot com(DETROIT) -- The Chevrolet Volt has been named the 2011 Motor Trend Car of the Year, as announced in the magazine’s January issue.

The magazine hailed the Volt as a “car of the future,” which somehow emerged from the rough emotional and political GM rollercoaster.

Chris Theodore, a Car of the Year judge and industry expert, told Motor Trend he was blown away by the car’s technology.

"This is a fully developed vehicle with seamlessly integrated systems and software, a real car that provides a unique driving experience,” Theodore said.

Motor Trend called the Volt one of the most hyped yet controversial choices in the 61-year history of the award -- a car that emerged from the much-scrutinized transition from Old GM to New GM as a game-changer.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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