General Motors to replace Chevy Volt 120 volt chargers image

General Motors Co said it will replace the 120-volt charging cords for most Chevrolet Volt electric cars. The company will not replace optional 240-volt power cords.

GM spokesman Randy Fox said the new cords “offer some more consistency in charging.” Some of the chargers built after Feb. 5 have the new cords.
He did not know the total number affected, but said it was fewer than the more than 11,000 Volts sold so far.

Yahoo Autos first reported the swap, citing consumer complaints about overheating cords. However, Fox said the exchange was not to address overheating.

While the 120-volt chargers aren’t meant for everyday charging, many Volt owners rely on them for topping off their battery packs or when traveling away from a dedicated electric vehicle charger, which can run cost thousands of dollars. NHTSA had not opened a safety investigation into the chargers.

In the past GM insisted the 120 volt charging cords were safe despite the occasional report of hot cords. GM has previously maintained hot cords must be due to wiring problems in the outlets, rather than the charging cords.

Last week, GM said it will temporarily lay off 1,300 employees as the company stops production of the electric car for five weeks.

The move comes despite a jump in sales of the car in February. GM sold 1,023 Volts last month, compared with 603 in January.

The temporary halt is necessary because the company has surplus Volts waiting to be sold, GM spokesman Chris Lee said.

“We’re going to build to meet market demand, and while we’re optimistic, we’re not able to maintain regular production.”