The NHSTA opened a formal investigation of the Volt in November after the fires and says that that investigation is still ongoing. However, the agency also noted that no fires have broken out after Volt crashes on real-world roadways. In a statement the NSTA said, “As a precaution, NHTSA has monitored the crashed vehicle since the test and will continue to do so for one more week. However, the preliminary results of the crash test indicate the remedy proposed by General Motors… should address the issue.”
As for the fix, GM is quick to point out that the repair effort is not a recall since the company made its decision to fix customers’ cars without a government directive. This, at lest, is a bit of good news as GM’s “customer service campaign” does not involve the government monitoring, consumer notification and bad publicity of a formal recall.
According to a report in the Detroit Free Press, GM has already agreed to offer a loaner car to any Volt owners who are nervous about the car’s safety. In total, about 250 people requested a loaner or asked the automaker to buy back their Volt. The automaker is willing to do so, but is first finding out why owners are dissatisfied.
News of the Volt’s problems come at a bad time for GM as the company struggles to recover from the PR hit they took after the news broke that they would not hit their goal of selling 10,000 of the cars in 2011. While the company sold only 7,671 Volts last year, they also recorded a best-ever sales month in December, moving 1,529 cars.