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Old 01-09-2012, 11:31 AM   #1
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Post GM offers fix for Volt battery concerns

Prospective and current Chevrolet Volt owners can now rest easier if they were concerned about their batteries, according to General Motors, with the implementation of a new battery reinforcement system on the electric car.

The move comes following NHTSA tests resulted in a Volt catching fire due to issues with the battery following the crash test.

The story from AutoWeek:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Jewett – AutoWeek, 1/5/12



GM to modify Chevrolet Volts to
guard against battery fire

General Motors will add a structural reinforcement and devices to prevent overfilling of the battery cooling system in the Chevrolet Volt hybrid sedan to prevent the possibility of a fire after a side crash.

The changes come seven months after a Volt caught fire three weeks after being crash-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The government agency in November opened a defect investigation into the Volt because of the battery fire.

GM on Thursday said that it will fix about 8,000 Volts now in customers' hands, along with about 4,400 cars that are on dealers' lots or in transit. Repair parts are expected to be available at dealerships in February.
Dealers will need up to three hours to make the fix, GM North America president Mark Reuss said on Thursday in a teleconference with media members. But Volt owners will be encouraged to leave their car with the dealer for the day and will be given a loaner car, Reuss said.

The changes will be added to the Volt production line in suburban Detroit. The plant has been idle for the past few weeks as part of GM's holiday shutdown.

GM said the fix will also be applied to Volts that have been exported and to the Opel Ampera, which is a rebadged and restyled version of the Volt for Europe.

The program is a customer-satisfaction effort, not a government-mandated recall, GM said. NHTSA has not said whether the effort will prompt it to close the Volt investigation.

GM product chief Mary Barra, during Thursday's media teleconference, explained details of the cause of the Volt fire:

-- When the Volt was subjected to a side-impact crash-test, a minor intrusion into the side of the battery pack created an internal coolant leak. GM estimates about one-quarter cup of coolant leaked.

-- NHSTA then subjected the crashed Volt to a rollover test. The test slowly rolled the car for 5 minutes. When the car was inverted during the test more coolant leaked--about 1 quart, GM said. The coolant spilled onto electrical contacts on a circuit board on the top of the battery pack. It was that connection between contacts on the circuit board, along with not discharging the battery pack after the crash test, which led to the fire.

Barra said the structural reinforcement being added to the Volt will more evenly distribute crash forces in a side impact, which will help prevent the intrusion into the battery pack.

Changes to the battery cooling system are the addition of a sensor in the coolant reservoir and a tamper-resistant bracket to prevent the system from being overfilled.
[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

It’s good to see GM taking noticeable steps to rectify the Volt battery issue.

While I’m sure there will be people who ask why this wasn’t included in the initial design, it is better to fix something that has resulted in isolated incidents than ignore it and have it become worse.

I doubt very much that everything that can be considered a flaw with an automobile can be worked out before the car hits production – as much as manufacturers try anyway.

The question I have now is, will this change put the volt in a better light to potential customers?

Would this make you feel better about owning the car?
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Old 01-16-2012, 09:43 AM   #2
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Re: GM offers fix for Volt battery concerns

the battery design is not proper for this type of use.

the power control , and battery circuits connections , should not be in the battery compartment.

the battery box needs to be made to take impacts, and isolate from the operator compartment , and any other vehicle components.
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Old 08-26-2012, 03:19 PM   #3
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Re: GM offers fix for Volt battery concerns

Why in the world, would anyone by a Volt? For the life of me, what was GM thinking? It has a range of 35 miles on a charge? Then you use it's regular gas engine which get 35mpg, for $42,000? Why not just get a 35mpg car for less than half the price? So, the first 35 miles you go, costs you $1.55 for the electricity to charge your battery......with 35mpg at approx $3.55 a gal, you save 2 bucks/day....or $730 a year....or $7300 in 10 years.......or $21,600 in 30 years......which is about the cost that you overpaid for the car in the first place.....and as we know, that battery is only warranteed for 10 years....and will start, to no longer hold it's charge before that........then it's big bucks to replace the battery....no wonder GM has financial problems....
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Old 08-26-2012, 05:40 PM   #4
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Re: GM offers fix for Volt battery concerns

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tech II View Post
Why not just get a 35mpg car for less than half the price? So, the first 35 miles you go, costs you $1.55 for the electricity to charge your battery......with 35mpg at approx $3.55 a gal, you save 2 bucks/day....or $730 a year....or $7300 in 10 years.......or $21,600 in 30 years
You are absolutely correct IF you drive WAY more than 35 miles per day!!! Lets just suppose that your normal daily drive is 35 miles or less. Now, using your own numbers, it will cost you $1.55 per day in a Volt or $3.55 per day in any other 35mpg gasoline engine car.....or $566 per year in a Volt vs. $1296 per year on gas. In 10 years, $5660 in a Volt or $12,960 on gas. In 30 years, $16,980 in a Volt or $38,880 on gas.
Check out voltstats dot net. You can see many Volt owners are driving well over 90% of the time on battery only. There are many Volt owners that never buy gas.
The way that I look at it, the Volt can cut your daily operating cost significantly. Sure, you could buy a less expensive car and throw all that extra money in the gas tank, but where is the fun in that?
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:43 PM   #5
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Re: GM offers fix for Volt battery concerns

with this volt [battery/gas engine ] vehicle you have two propulsion systems to maintain. this is not too smart with my idea of an energy money saving vehicle. now the batteries and a gas engine will need work.

the LEAF is a vehicle with only batteries . most weather conditions you go 75 miles ona charge. in a metro area this is well with in the normal drive per day. the range does go to 110miles in 70 deg f temps on normal driving conditions.

with NO engine you have no tranny , fluid changes etc. just a gear box. not much to do except bring to the dealership every year for the charger/battery service/inspect/test . with regeneration built in the vehicles charging system turns on when your foot is off the throttle, this then charges the battery. therefore the brakes last a very long time.

with battery vehicles however mileage stated does drop over time.
if its 35 miles when new after 3 years will it be 20 miles ? the batteries are big bucks.

the LEAF for $40,ooo would be a better deal with no maintainence over the VOLT gas engine to repair/maintain.

MY friend has a LEAF, and he says $2.00 to go 80miles. that is quite a cheap ride. this is his daily ride.
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Old 08-27-2012, 09:48 PM   #6
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Re: GM offers fix for Volt battery concerns

In 30 years, $16,980 in a Volt or $38,880 on gas.

True......anyone that thinks a Volt will last 30 years is crazy.....I was using that number to show you how long it would take to break even........

Let's be more realistic....say 15 years......

Spend 42K for car, plus 5660 and 2830= $50,490


Spend 20K for gas vehicle, plus 12,960 and 6,480= $39,440

At 35 miles per day, your battery warranty runs out in 8 years......not sure, but heard price on new battery is 3-4K......doubt it lasts 15 years or maintains it's charge for 35 miles....

P.S. Ever sit in the back seat of a Volt? If you are 6'0", and hit the bridges on I-395, your head will have trauma from that bar in front of the rear window.......and forget about leg room......only kids can sit back there......
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Old 08-27-2012, 10:27 PM   #7
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Re: GM offers fix for Volt battery concerns

Ok, so we can agree that we have different taste in cars. But, for the difference of $61 per month over 15 years I will take a Volt over any $20K car.
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:47 AM   #8
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Re: GM offers fix for Volt battery concerns

Ok, but the Volt is not a 42K car.....it's an overpriced 20K car....that has an electric motor and huge battery...
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:46 PM   #9
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Re: GM offers fix for Volt battery concerns

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Originally Posted by Tech II View Post
Ok, but the Volt is not a 42K car.....it's an overpriced 20K car....that has an electric motor and huge battery...
And a gas engine.
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:23 PM   #10
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Re: GM offers fix for Volt battery concerns

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Originally Posted by Tech II
Ok, but the Volt is not a 42K car.....it's an overpriced 20K car....that has an electric motor and huge battery...

Posted by TRTichenor
And a gas engine.


I said it was an overpriced 20K car....
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:38 AM   #11
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Re: GM offers fix for Volt battery concerns

The Volt is only a $40k car if you are stupid. My 2013 Volt is leased, and that lease price ($350 a month) is based on an out the door price of $29k ($7500 in federal tax credits that go to the leasing company, $2000 in state tax credits that go to the leasing company, and a GM discount of $2400 that comes right off the top). So basically, the Volt is competing with cars like the Camry and Accord, and is well equipped at that price.

It also drives VERY good, with a lot of punch from the electric motor for 0-40 sprints (it kind of falls on it's face from 40-60, to give an 8 second or so 0-60 time).

I can commute and run errands all week on zero gasoline, and only about $20 worth of electricity a month.

I didn't buy it to save money, however, The real way to save money is to not buy a new car of ANY sort, but to buy a $1000 beater and drive it into the ground. I'm not going to do that anymore for the daily drive. The Volt drives a lot like my old 740iL, as for quickness around town, silence, and comfort. I got the premium interior package with heated leather and suede seats and panels and they are MUCH more comfortable than the base cloth seats. i get to be on the bleeding edge of tech, drive a car tat is much like driving a personal spaceship, and avoid using petroleum on the commute and for running errands, while, unlike pure EVs, I get to drive as far as I want if I have to, due to the gas generator.

BTW, the Volt goes over 40 miles on the battery if it's relatively warm out. I've already gone the 8 mile one way commute on only 3 miles of range, and the outside temps were below 37 degrees. And when I've run the gas generator, I've got over 40 mpg. Lets say you have an 80 mile round trip commute. You'd use all the electric range and a gallon of gas. That equates to the equivalent of 80 mpg, and you can't get that from a regular car. MOST people in the US commute less than 30 miles round trip per day, so most people could do the commute on pure electric and only use the gas generator for longer trips or unexpected trips.

This is my 2013 Volt:





You want to insult me or my car, I'll definitely respond in kind, because anyone that would choose to do so is ignorant in the extreme.
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Old 03-09-2013, 04:00 PM   #12
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Re: GM offers fix for Volt battery concerns

Welcome to the club Chris V. Nice color choice, it was my second choice, I went with the red. For me, a new job kinda forced me into a new car. Sure, I could have gotten a smaller less expensive car, it probably would have cost me around $150 a month plus another $200 in gas. So for the same $350 per month I'm driving a Volt. That is what I call a no brainer.

BTW, the most active Volt forum is over at gm-volt dot com. Come on over, you will find lots of very smart people there and we do a lot of talking about our Volts.
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:11 AM   #13
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Re: GM offers fix for Volt battery concerns

Thanks. I signed up on gm-volt.com right off the bat. But, they are a bit too nerdy for me. I'm a bad Volt owner in that I'm not concerned with maximizing the time using EV mode, nor am I into hypermiling, as I tend to still punch it at low speeds a lot to feel the thrust of the electric motor. And those guys tend to be of the type that are trying to figure out what electrical draws can be eliminated to maximize EV range.

of course, a lot of that stems from most of them driving the 2011/2012 versions that don't have "hold" mode and thus run on batteries for the first 35-40 miles regardless. I like hold mode where I can choose where it runs on battery and where it runs on gas, running it on battery around town and running on gas when I get on the highway, saving the battery power for when I reach my destination.
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:00 AM   #14
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Re: GM offers fix for Volt battery concerns

That's true. I tend to skip over most of the long winded discussions. I lurk on forums for all my cars mostly looking to see if any one has found a good tip specific to my car and, I try to help out the noobs with a Volt. It seems that many new owners think that they have to treat the Volt differently just because it is an electric.
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