Chevy Volt Fire Opportunity Not Being Squandered
The battery fire discovered by NHTSA has set of a whirlwind of action and stories, and in the midst of the chaos what might just be lost is that the system worked and GM will have a safer car for it.
Volt owners are unhappy because they feel the media has unfairly portrayed the Volt as an unsafe car. They also suggest that the response is not proportionate given that these were test crash fires not real world fires, and if the media really feels this is newsworthy then why not cover the 200,000 plus gasoline car fires every year or the 500 plus annual deaths on average from said car fires?
Some are questioning why other EVs are not getting similar scrutiny. This would appear to be obvious, the other EVs have not had their batteries ignite yet. Yes I know they are lithium and lithium burns unbelievably hot and is surprisingly easy to start given the right circumstances. This makes it all the more important to understand what all those circumstances could be!
The Volt haters are on the warpath because for them this is proof that the government should not meddle in the car industry, and tell us what kind of car to buy.
Some, myself included have blamed NHTSA for not doing the obvious thing and discharging the battery. After reflecting on this further, I am glad that NHTSA did not drain the battery. Whether intentionally done or not, it lead to the uncovering of this problem. And yes this is a problem. At this point it does not appear to be a threat to occupants of the vehicle, but rather a problem for anyone who might be transporting or storing a severely damaged Volt. However, it is not hard to imagine that if a problem can develop days later perhaps there are circumstances where it can develop much sooner. Therefore fixing this problem only enhances the safety of the car.
Yes the media coverage has been unfair, but that is nothing new.
Yes there are people for whom the take away will be “The Volt Catches on Fire.” That’s OK. But in the end, GM will figure out why the fire happened and they will get a solution. The Volt is an idea and a solution too right to fail. How do I know this? 16,000 miles, 22 gallons of gas used.