Photo by Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images.
Good news for GM: The Chevy Volt has the highest customer satisfaction rating of any new car this year, according to Consumer Reports.
The bad news: Chevy Volts also sometimes catch fire.
Three side impact tests conducted by the federal government earlier this year ended in flames. Scientific American explains that the fires caught long after the crash tests completed, in one case more than three weeks later. As a result of the fiery results, the government has opened an investigation into the car's lithium-ion batteries, leaving General Motors scrambling to defend the reputation of its entry into the plug-in market.
The Associated Press reports GM says it doesn't yet know what caused the fires, but in the meantime the carmaker has taken the unprecedented step of offering to buy back any Volt from any worried owner. Company CEO Dan Akerson announced the news in an interview with the AP, during which he also vowed to recall and retrofit "every one" of the roughly 6,000 Volt that have been sold if the investigation concludes that a faulty battery is to blame for the fires.
The news follows an offer earlier this week from the company to provide replacement rental cars to the Volt owners. According to a company spokesperson, only 16 Volt owners inquired about the rental option, with two taking it.