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GM responds quickly to Volt battery-fire concerns

We informed readers of a fire-related problem associated with General Motors’ electric car, Volt, in our November 29 blog post.

It hasn’t taken GM long to respond to that concern.

Within days of the crash-study findings released by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration researchers, GM CEO Dan Akerson said that the company would be happy to buy back a Volt from any concerned customer. General Motors concedes that a number of purchasers have expressed concerns that the car might catch on fire inadvertently or, conversely, that a car accident could trigger a battery fire.

Akerson insists that the cars are safe, but that GM will nonetheless take back any Volt from a dissatisfied purchaser. Additionally, the company states that it will recall and fix every Volt currently in use in the United States (there are about 6,000 such cars) once regulators fully understand what is causing the battery fires.

“If we find that is the solution, we will retrofit every one of them,” Akerson said in an interview with reporters.

He added: “We’ll make it right.”

In the wake of the tests, GM continues to insist that Volt owners needn’t worry that their cars will catch fire immediately after a crash. Akerson notes the fires that did occur following NHTSA simulated crash tests all happened days to weeks after the tests were performed.

He also says that government evaluators subjected the batteries to far more stringent testing standards than those normally employed by safety technicians.

Source: Time Business, “GM willing to buy back Volts” Dec. 1, 2011