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  • William Maley
    William Maley
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    Volt Gets Its Day In Congressional Hearing

    William Maley

    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com

    January 25, 2012

    Today, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform's Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight and Government Spending (gesundheit!) held its hearing on the Chevrolet Volt and investigation done by NHTSA. The hearing titled - "Volt Vehicle Fire: What did NHTSA Know and When Did They Know It?" showed the committee led by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., wasn't here to mess around.

    First to testify was NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. Strickland defended the agency's decision not to talk about the fire in a crash-tested Volt for more than five months, saying that it would have been "irresponsible" to disclose the fire before the agency had determined whether the Volt posed a risk to safety.

    Strickland also said replicating the initial fire was "difficult" and took a "tremendous amount of engineering" to produce a second fire in laboratory conditions.

    Next to testify was General Motors CEO and chairman Dan Akerson testified to the committee that the Volt is a safe vehicle and it has become "political punching bag."

    "We engineered the Volt to show the world the great vehicles we make at General Motors. Although we loaded the Volt with state of the art safety features, we did not engineer the Volt to be a political punching bag. Sadly that is what it's become." Akerson said.

    Akerson also told the comittee that GM never asked the White House to keep the Volt Fire that happen in June a secret and never had disscussions with the White House about the Volt.

    When asked how he got to hearings, Akerson said he drove a Volt.

    Issa said after the hearings he's satisfied with GM's response but now plans to focus on NHTSA.

    "We are disappointed. NHTSA could have been a much better job both in transparency and speed. When you have a new vehicle, it's better to take a pause," said Issa.

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), The Detroit News

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    The VOLT is an Awesome car. I hope it does take off and get a long life.

    I do have to wonder and Question the Chevy Dealerships. Especially those that are not willing to take more so they are available for sale.

    Is this because you are still trying to sell above the MSRP price?

    A chevy dealership here in Seattle has two VOLTS, one is the demo drive and the other is available for sale, yet they have a 10K markup over the MSRP price on the car. Again the idiot dealerships are trying to rip off the buyers rather than sell as much as possible for a decent 5% gross profit.

    GM, Let Costco Sell these cars for you and you will have more sales than you can produce. The dealerships do not seem to be wanting to move metal. Very sad day for the dealerships. :(

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    The mark up prices will not last. The car is more than it should be and it is far from a collectors car. In time the dealers will fall in line when they see they are not going to move them. In the mean time GM should reward the dealers moving them.

    The Volt technology will remain. It may move to another or more models but this is not a one time shot here. GM has too much invested and will find ways to bring the price down and the range up. There had to be a market to get suppliers on board and now that most companies are using similar items like electric motors and batteries it is now worth the investment.

    The Goverment should have invested into a NASA project that would have helped in this area vs many of the wasted projects that the present admin pushed. Money to contractors on one project are more effective vs money to may small companies that end up going bankrupt with products no one wants.

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    I am not a fan of the Volt because of its powertrain, but Dan Akerson is right, this hearing was a political stunt. Very unsavory.

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    Hyperv6 I do hope you are right and that GM smackes the dealerships to get them inline with selling this technology as I think it has a ton of potential, far better than electric only.

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