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Will the Chevy Volt Succeed?

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  • From what I just read about the Volt, there not just falling apart, there real good at catching fire to. One burned to the ground on the NHTSB parking lot, another one was being charged up at the owners house and caught on fire , causing $800,000 damge to the house. They said these will catch on fire if overcharged, under charged, or has been in a accident. The one at NHTSB sat 3 weeks before it burned. Another great car from Garbage Manufacturing.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Allow some corrections:

    1. It caught on fire at NTHSA, 3 weeks after a crash test.

    WASHINGTON -- A Chevrolet Volt that caught fire three weeks after its lithium-ion battery was damaged in a government crash test has regulators taking a harder look at the safety of electric car batteries, federal officials said Friday.

    But based on testing so far, regulators believe the batteries are safe and don't pose a greater fire risk than gasoline-powered engines, a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration official told The Associated Press. The official requested anonymity in order to speak freely.

    The car that caught fire was tested May 12 by an agency contractor at a Wisconsin facility using a relatively new side-impact test intended to replicate crashing into a pole or a tree, the official said. Three weeks later, while the car was parked at the test facility, it caught fire. A NHTSA investigation concluded the crash test damaged the battery, which later led to the fire.

    GM spokesman Greg Martin said the test did not follow procedures developed by GM engineers for handling the Volt after a crash. The engineers tested the Volt's battery pack for more than 300,000 hours to come up with the procedures, which include discharge and disposal of the battery pack, he said.

    "Had those protocols been followed after this test, this incident would not have occurred," he said.


    2. The "other" fire was a garage fire, in which the owner was an electric car tinkerer, and which the local fire marshall said was "not caused by the cars."

    I see why the ultra right hates the Volt, because it signifies that the "Global Warming" people are BOSSING US AROUND !! (dumb)

    But let's put proper blame where proper blame lies, and not blame the technology just because we disagree with Global Warming.
  • OK, I said the wrong agency, no problem. Lets see now, the car was struck in the side and parked for 3 weeks. Now, were they made aware of all the procedures that those GM engineers said needed to be done, and are all the other automotive an body shops made aware of this, or do you have to take it to the dealer period. As far as the other fire goes, you are correct, it wasn't caused by the car, it was caused by the cars charger. So was the battery over charged to the state of causing it to overheat an catch on fire or what. I might not be an engineer, but I been aroud cars long enough to know. You, on the other hand might be possibly a GM engineer trying to defuse a situation, that as time goes on, maybe something to watch. I'm not one of those people you might think I am, and I'm all for Technology when it's done right and not just thrown out there and say we have a great car here. As far as Global Warming goes, most say it is what it is.
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,217
    Dude, tin foil is for baking, not headwear. No, the battery wasn't overcharged. If the battery was overcharged & overheated then the car would have properly been named as the source of the fire. It wasn't.

    Here's a little info for you noting not only how the Volt is handled in a crash but some of the testing that's taken place and that GM is providing first-responder training: http://www.greencarcongress.com/2010/08/gmfr-20100827.html Excerpt: The battery pack has been subjected to a wide range of abuse tests, including overcharge, discharge, vibration, excess heat and cold, short circuit, humidity, fire, crush, water immersion, salt water immersion, and nail penetration.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    I'm not a GM engineer.

    And I don't think you are any particular type of person.

    I just prefer to defend the technology.

    When GM has put thousands if not hundreds of thousands of hours testing these cars, they are not going to put something on the road which is a fire hazard.

    And as for cars burning up: gasoline engine cars have burned up exponentially more often than electric cars EVER will.

    Do a little Googling about the extensive safety testing that GM applied to the Volt. They know better than to try and sell a firetrap, when they put so much money into this being a successful car.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,676
    edited November 2011
    Kind of difficult to call it a successful car. It is not exactly screaming off the dealers lots. I think most sales are between dealers so far. I have only seen one in this hot bed of Hybrid type vehicles. My guess it will go the way of all the other GM attempts to compete in the field.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Gary says, "Kind of difficult to call it a successful car..."

    And premature too.

    Which is why I didn't say "it's NOW a successful car." My point was "GM put a lot of money and time into MAKING this a successful car." The "it's not yet" is to be assumed.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,676
    You keep saying GM put a lot of money into the VOLT. That is NOT true. The Tax payers through the alternative stimulus paid the bulk of the bill. I believe it was $4 billion for Volt R&D.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,676
    2nd electric car battery fire involving Chevy Volt

    WASHINGTON — Federal officials say they are investigating the safety of lithium-ion battery in General Motors Co.'s Chevrolet Volt after a second battery fire following crash-testing of the electric car.

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Friday that three Volt battery packs were crash-tested last week. In one instance, the battery caught fire afterward, and in another the battery emitted smoke and sparks.

    Last May, a fire erupted in the battery of a Chevy Volt that had been damaged during a government crash test three weeks earlier. Last week's tests were an attempt to replicate the May fire.

    NHTSA has opened a formal safety defect investigation of the batteries.

    General Motors officials said previously that government officials didn't follow the carmaker's protocols for storing post-crash batteries.

    The Associated Press
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Here is the key part of that:

    General Motors officials said previously that government officials didn't follow the carmaker's protocols for storing post-crash batteries.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,676
    This had nothing to do with POST CRASH. One caught on fire during a crash test. You know like the PU trucks and Pintos from the 1980s. Not a good thing to burn up in your car after a crash. Makes lots of news. Think Lexus and the CHP crash that killed him and his whole family.

    The best thing GM could do is scrap the whole Volt project and not waste anymore of our tax dollars. After what now, 8 tries at EV and Hybrid vehicles that are batting ZERO.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    edited November 2011
    No, one did not catch fire DURING A CRASH TEST. I started to smoke and spark AFTER the test.

    http://www.freep.com/article/20111126/BUSINESS0104/111260324/Fire-during-Chevy-V- - olt-crash-test-spurs-safety-investigation

    Which hybrids are batting Zero, again?

    And I make this excellent point again: HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of gasoline cars have burned after crashes over the years. So this is nothing new.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,895
    You know like the PU trucks and Pintos from the 1980s.

    Wait. Are you referring to the PU truck that the news station (can't remember which off the top of my head) rigged to catch fire?

    Think Lexus and the CHP crash that killed him and his whole family.

    Oh, the crash that was proven to be the driver's fault?

    That's the biggest problem with sensationalist reporting: folks don't tend to remember the truth that comes out later (because it is typically less interesting).

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '08 Town&Country

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,676
    Are you saying the NHTSA is opening an investigation for no good reason on the Volt? Sounds like more government waste on the Volt.

    From your posted article:
    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Friday it will open a safety defect investigation after three recent side-impact crash tests resulted in smoke from one Volt and fire in another.

    All GM hybrids are batting zero or close enough to drop them from the lineup. Only someone with more money than brains would buy a Tahoe Hybrid for $12k premium to get a lousy 2 MPG better mileage. Or $85k for a Cadillac Hybrid for the rich and famous to look green.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,676
    Yes I believe it was a Chevy PU rigged to blow up for the TV cameras.

    I don't think it is fair to blame the CHP that was killed, for a screw-up by the dealers lot boy. That is a lousy designed throttle in the CAM/ES350. Toyota has since changed it. Toyota also paid the family $10 million for their part in the tragedy.

    Sensation sells news. Who's fault is that?
  • eliaselias Posts: 1,830
    According to the article, the second fire was intentionally caused by engineers trying to analyze & fix the problem. Now they can fix it and verify the bugfix with more crash tests.

    It seems interesting that the govt/mandatory crashtest did not trigger the battery fire, but engineers have found a new test or a new measurement which does find it.
    What is the difference between the tests? Maybe it's how long to *wait* afterwards to see if a fire starts, waiting a week instead of dismantling the car/batteries the next day.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,895
    That is a lousy designed throttle in the CAM/ES350.

    As we all know, and as was demonstrated by a major mag's testing, NO car can overpower its brakes.

    Sensation sells news. Who's fault is that?

    The reader/viewer.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '08 Town&Country

  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    Come on now, use a little common sense if you have it. I dare say there is NOT a car out there made today or even in the past that has not caught on fire during a wreck. So when are you going to sell yours and go back to walking. :shades:
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,676
    edited November 2011
    GM must consider it more dangerous than the average car.

    (Reuters) - General Motors Co said on Monday that it will offer loaner vehicles to more than 5,000 owners of its Chevrolet Volt as it works with U.S. safety regulators on ways to reduce the risk of fires breaking out days after crashes involving the electric car.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/28/us-gm-volt-idUSTRE7AO1SH20111128
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,217
    As we all know, and as was demonstrated by a major mag's testing, NO car can overpower its brakes.

    Out of curiosity, did the mag test hybrid powertrains? I ask as the brakes are also part of the drivetrain since hybrids turn the motor into a generator for a good part of the braking power, with traditional brakes only being used for relatively hard stops. A software bug that wants to keep the car moving forward might inhibit the switch to generator/brake mode, making it more difficult for the traditional brakes to overcome the the electric motor.
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