The Chevy Volt is the gift that keeps on giving.
Last week, the Obama Administration sought to increase the Chevrolet Volt purchaser tax credit from $7,500 to $10,000.
All this for a car so dangerous to first responders that the Department of Energy allocated $4.4 million dollars for programs to prevent fire fighters from electrocuting themselves while trying to rescue crash victims.
The troubled Chevy Volt has been bedeviled by safety issues since it rolled onto the market. Environmentalists expected it to be one of the cornerstones of a cultural move towards low or no emissions vehicles. Instead, it became something between a punch line born of unfulfilled expectations and a real threat to consumers.
According to industry expert Gary Howell of Howell Automotive, one of the problems lies with the batteries that power the vehicle. “The lithium-ion used in modern electric cars are not like the old lead-acid batteries of the past. They are more powerful and, when damaged, the fluid inside can leak out, creating a short on the circuit boards that are used to control the batteries. The fluid dries and crystallizes, creating a short, sometimes weeks after the damage to the battery occurred.”
This results in spontaneous fires, such as happened in a Volt three weeks after a crash test at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.