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Old 01-02-2012, 12:42 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by RH77 View Post
It was looking grim for the distant observer to maintain confidence in the the brand to defend its high-FE offering, and/or owners to remain calm; however...
I can't say that this is much of a surprise. I mean, a battery that might catch fire several weeks after a collision that totals the car? Not what any sensible person would consider a problem. Of course the usual suspects among the "drill, baby, drill" crowd try to spin it as a disaster (remember their fake job on Prius vs Hummer?), but I dare say 99% of Volt buyers are too smart to be taken in.

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Old 01-02-2012, 01:51 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
I can't say that this is much of a surprise. I mean, a battery that might catch fire several weeks after a collision that totals the car? Not what any sensible person would consider a problem. Of course the usual suspects among the "drill, baby, drill" crowd try to spin it as a disaster (remember their fake job on Prius vs Hummer?), but I dare say 99% of Volt buyers are too smart to be taken in.
Yeah, I didn't know the details at first. A battery catching fire in a few weeks leaves plenty of time to solve the problem. All they need to do is add an inspection protocol to Volts after accidents. If the battery coolant is not operating as efficiently after the accident, then that's a sign right there.

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Old 01-02-2012, 03:58 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I thought I remembered them saying that not only was it nearly two months after the crash test cars were totaled in a crash test that flipped them over and they left the battery cut out safeties turned on while it was put in storage, this would be like leaving the gasoline in the tank of a car that had been crashed that badly then freaking out when it caught on fire a month later.
People are comparing this to the lap top batteries that started on fire years back, while those batteries caught on fire because they were a chemistry that is thermally unstable with an extra o2 molecule I believe, so once they started to over heat they would start on fire and it would go up like a box of matches, of course not all lithium batteries have that chemistry and most are thermally stable enough to not have that happen.
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Old 01-03-2012, 01:18 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I also heard about Camry Hybrid battery fires a few years back, but I can't find the article. I can't remember if they were associated with an accident or just happened out of the blue.

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Old 01-05-2012, 11:34 AM   #15 (permalink)
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GM has announced a fix related to post-crash battery fires for existing Volts & future production:

- structural reinforcement
- a battery coolant level sensor (to detect leaks)
- a seal for the coolant filler to prevent over-filling (which could presumably defeat the sensor)

Quote:
GM conducted four successful crash tests between Dec. 9 and 21 of Volts with the structural enhancement. The enhancement performed as intended. There was no intrusion into the battery pack and no coolant leakage in any of the tests.

“These enhancements and modifications will address the concerns raised by the severe crash tests,” Barra said. “There are no changes to the Volt battery pack or cell chemistry as a result of these actions. We have tested the Volt’s battery system for more than 285,000 hours, or 25 years, of operation.
source, GM: GM Announces Enhancements to Chevrolet Volt
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:19 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
GM has announced a fix related to post-crash battery fires for existing Volts & future production...
It's good to hear they found a reasonable fix to an irrational fear. I still have 2 concerns: the correction has low infotainment shock value (and will not make front page news), and (still) that such a high-tech, highly efficient vehicle is in the hands of GM -- read: I'm happy it exists, but it has needed help with public confidence before the "issue", let alone now.

If Toyota manufactured and marketed it as the "Prius XYZ" or whatever, it would likely sell like "hotcakes".

So then, I guess it takes grassroots efforts, like ours here, to keep the conversation in the forefront. I often meet many who fear hybrid technology, since it is simply: not understood.

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Old 01-05-2012, 11:10 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RH77 View Post
the correction has low infotainment shock value (and will not make front page news)
Oh, I think it will, if the fix is to be applied in the form of a general recall. That'll get a lot of chins wagging about those durn complicated fancy pants subsidized new fangled inbreds! I mean hybrids!

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I often meet many who fear hybrid technology, since it is simply: not understood.
Agree with you there! I stopped counting how many people ask me how far I can go on a charge in the Insight.
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:43 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Guys, a severe crash test is the S10 (think it had a riding lawn mower in the back) getting nailed by the Peterbilt that we have all seen on TV many times.

Several hundred pound battery packs add another factor into collision scenarios, especially when they are combined with a fuel tank.

What happens to the Volt that gets t-boned by a fuel tanker truck in a way similar to the S10 and the Peterbilt? Go ahead and blast me for the thought.

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