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Friday, December 9, 2011

New Shows/Late Post

We shot 4 great new shows today, all of which should premier in January. Then, of course, we go on the road with our 12-City tour and film everything the rest of the year on location. It will be a great year for the show.

Also, we've reported a lot of good things about the Chevy Volt, including the overwhelming praise when we set up daylong test drives at a recent Farmer's Market. However, since then, the news has not been great, including this update:

Second Chevy Volt fire sparks official investigation

Safety administrators to examine lithium ion battery packs after another plug-in hybrid catches fire during crash testing

By BusinessGreen staff 29 Nov 2011

"The US road safety authority has announced an official investigation into the risk of fires breaking out in General Motors' flagship plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt car.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said it decided to take the action after a Volt burst into flames in a repeat of an incident earlier this year, which saw the car's lithium ion battery catch fire three weeks after a side-impact test."

"While the NHTSA said it is not aware of any crashes involving lithium ion batteries that have resulted in fires outside of testing, its experiment on three battery packs saw one emit sparks and smoke shortly after it was crash tested while another caught fire seven days afterwards.

"The agency is concerned that damage to the Volt's batteries as part of three tests that are explicitly designed to replicate real-world crash scenarios have resulted in fire," said a statement on the NHTSA website. "NHTSA is therefore opening a safety defect investigation of Chevy Volts, which could experience a battery-related fire following a crash.

"While it is too soon to tell whether the investigation will lead to a recall of any vehicles or parts, if NHTSA identifies an unreasonable risk to safety, the agency will take immediate action to notify consumers and ensure that GM communicates with current vehicle owners.

The agency added that it would be working with the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, and experts from General Motors during the investigation into the Volt, which was awarded a top five-star rating by the European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP) earlier this month.

The Volt is safe and does not present undue risk as part of normal operation or immediately after a severe crash," Jim Federico, GM's chief engineer for electric vehicles, said in a statement.

GM said yesterday it will offer 5,000 customers loan vehicles and delay the European release of the Volt, where it is known as the Ampera, until the investigation is concluded..."

One of our guests today talked about getting into an accident a few years ago with a Prius and, because the car is very light, taking the worst of the collision with a standard gas-powered car. For that reason, she will not go back to a hybrid or electric.

It saddens us to write and report on this, but there has to be balanced information and reporting. We stand by our endorsement of EV's, and believe it is our vehicle to a cleaner, more secure world. Like anything, there are challenges and setbacks. We still believe the Volt and others are great cars, and will stand on their own.

Now, let's hear your comments.

Have a great weekend.

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