U.S. safety regulators are pleased with GM’s plan to fix the Volt following fires that occured after crash tests.
According to David Strickland, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), GM reacted properly to the fire hazard issue. “They really did put customers first. This really is a safety issue,” Strickland was quoted as saying by Bloomberg. He added that the NHTSA plans to conclude its investigation soon.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood also appreciated GM’s actions. “It’s in everybody’s best interest to make sure the Volt is safe to drive,” said LaHood, who also praised the U.S. government’s $7,500 tax credit for buyers of the Volt and other electric vehicles.
GM told Volt owners last week to bring their cars back to dealerships to have steel added to protect the lithium-ion batteries. GM plans to increase production of the Volt to 60,000 in 2012, with 45,000 of the cars destined for the U.S. GM sold 992 Volts in December and ended the month with 4,200 cars in its inventory.
According to CNW Marketing Research, the investigation has lowered demand for the car. U.S. dealers sold 7,671 Volts last year, missing GM’s target of 10,000 units.