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GM Offers To Buy Back Volts From Worried Owners

edited December 2011 in Repair and Maintenance
"Good news for GM: The Chevy Volt has the highest customer satisfaction rating of any new car this year, according to Consumer Reports. The bad news: Chevy Volts also sometimes catch fire."

Discuss amongst yourselves. It's just coffee talk. No big whup.


  • This is good....Hats off to GM for doing the right thing.

    Hopefully the car-fire is NOT a big problem and can be resolved quickly.
  • Who knew you needed to carry a fire extinguisher in an electric car?
  • That's the type car I would MOST want to have an extinguisher along with me. You're sitting on some serious Amperage in those things man.....
  • I've heard a few reports that simply charging the batteries has been a problem. They are suspected in some house/garage fires. Too bad...the Volt looks like a decently designed vehicle.
  • Wow, I Might Consider Buying One, Now. I've Been Concerned That An Electric Car Might Have A Problem Supplying Enough Heat For Cabin Comfort And Defrost Safety, But Not Anymore !

    Good way to preheat your car on a cold morning.

    Reminds me of trying to start airplanes in really cold weather. Overpriming and updraft carburetors are not a good combination, but if you could keep the pilot from getting out in a panic, the darn things would usually start right up once the carb and air filter caught fire. The running engine would suck the fire out immediately.

    Does the Volt come with Nomex coveralls and gloves ? Good gift suggestion for the Volt owner on your list.

  • "License And Registration !"
    "On Your Way To A fire, Mister ?"

    "I believe so, Officer !"

  • There are 250,000 car fires each year, and almost none of them are the Chevy Volt. Do any of those car fires make the news? IMO this is a good will gesture. You may recall that GM preferred to lease Volts and made the leases attractive compared to buying the car.
  • People seem to have no issue driving around with 20 gallons of a highly flammable liquid sloshing around under the back seat. Why is an electrical fire cause for so much concern?
  • NTSB had 3 Volts catch fire as many as 3 weeks in storage after some crash testing. The first one was weeks after a minor side impact test.

    According to a friend in the industry, lithium-ion batteries, like the one used for the Volt, are chemically unstable. They tend to go into thermal over-run very easily. They are easier to manage in small packages, like the ones in your cell phone that contain only an ounce of material. But, when they are up-sized for bigger devices,like lap tops, they've had more problems. Sony can tell you that.

    I can only imagine the danger and problems associated when they get super-sized, like in the Volt. There are plenty of videos on Youtube about exploding lithium-ion batteries. Even the small cell phone batteries release an amazing amount of energy when they burn. This is not a simple electrical fire.

    PS. The Tesla seems to be avoiding these problems because of their battery design. It is basically thousands of small laptop Li-ion battery cells put together and protected with a series of sophisticated buffer circuits to provide a lot of protection. The Volt only uses a couple hundred battery cells, so they are considerably larger cells that are harder to manage.
  • edited December 2011
    "jt" is absolutely right. Ever bothered to look ? Gasoline is unstable too. Ever think about hydrogen powered car problems too ? We wouldn't be dealing with this if companies were allowed to make the batteries that powered the last GM electric.
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