General Motors has announced a complementary exchange program for Volt owners of the 120-volt charging cable for a new unit. Owners of 2011 models and the few 2012 units with the previous version of the cable are eligible for the exchange.
We’d heard grumblings last summer from Volt owners of the charging cords becoming warm, and in some cases, too hot to touch. But there’s no defect in the old cords, GM is quick to point out, and the exchange is completely unrelated.
Don’t call it a recall. Nothing to see here, move along, the company insists. Just looking to make sure Volt owners are happy, satisfied customers.
GM spokesperson Randy Fox says they’ve begun production of a new design of the cable, one that provides “a more consistent charge.”
The new charger is thicker, and Fox says GM made “enhancements to the design to add some durability and reliability.”
Fox indicated Volt owners will be getting notices of the exchange via postal mail next week. The old charging cable will be swapped for the updated design the next time they have their car serviced at a dealership.
The Volt has been a bit of a lightning rod for General Motors. The company has consistently missed lofty sales targets, and the factory where the Volt is built currently sits idle on a five week shutdown because of unsold stock sitting on dealer lots.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced a safety defect investigation on the Volt after a number of models that underwent crash testing caught fire, the first weeks after it had been crashed.
The NHTSA ultimately declared the car safe, saying it was no more prone to after-collision fires than any other car on the market, and GM redesigned the battery housing that eliminates the potential for such fires.