Politics are playing a role in criticism of General Motors’ plug-in hybrid electric Chevy Volt, according to GM’s Chairman Daniel Akerson.
Much of the criticism has come from critics of the auto industry bailout, and focuses on reports that a Volt caught fire following a crash test.
A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report in December 2011 citing the fire generated such huge press coverage that GM offered to buy back Volts from any owner who feared the potential for a fire.
An adamant proponent of the hybrid, Akerson set the record straight with Newsmax.TV on what exactly happened in the Volt “fire.”
“I drive one of them,” he says. “Zero emissions. I’ve now put 3,000 miles on my car. I’ve used one gallon of gas.”
As for criticism of the Volt, Akerson says: “It’s funny to me. I don’t have the luxury of seeing the world through a political prism. If you watch NBC they say it’s the greatest car ever made. You watch Fox, they say it’s the worst car ever made, and they say there have been explosions and fires. Let me give you a few facts: There’s never been a fire in a Volt. Never.
“When we tested it we purposely hit it, rolled it, and we did not discharge the battery. If you have a combustion-engine car that has an accident, after the first responders extricate you from your car, they drain the gas tank and they disconnect the 12-volt battery. Well, when we did this the car was totaled. We didn’t discharge the battery, which is first responder protocol. We put it in a junkyard, and three weeks later there was a smoldering fire. No explosion. No nothing.
“We’ve got over six million miles on these cars today and not one fire.