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SC NC Products Liability – Chevy Volt Recall – A Hard Charge

The article below highlights the risks of new technology and the need for experienced products liability lawyers. Yet again, a manufacturer has prematurely released a dangerous product onto the general public with serious internal flaws that are acknowledged “after the fact.” There was already government oversight. And yet, owners were still left unprotected. I am proud to be a plaintiff’s attorney who fights for those harmed by dangerous products. Despite all of the “tort reform” efforts by insurance carriers, juries and personal injury lawyers willing to fight remain the last hope for those who are injured by the callous indifference of companies.

At Reeves, Aiken & Hightower, LLP, all of our attorneys are seasoned trial lawyers with over 70 years combined experience. Whether it is criminal or civil, our litigators are regularly in Court fighting for our clients. Two of our firm’s partners, Art Aiken and Robert Reeves, are lifetime members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Mr. Reeves has also been named one of the Top 100 lawyers for South Carolina in 2012 by the National Trial Lawyers Organization. Our attorneys include a former SC prosecutor, a former public defender, a former NC District Attorney intern, a former Registered Nurse (RN), and former insurance defense attorneys. As a result of their varied backgrounds, they understand the criminal, insurance defense, and medical aspects of complex cases. We welcome an opportunity to sit down and personally review your case. Call us today for a private consultation. www.rjrlaw.com

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors will strengthen the structure around the batteries in its Volt electric cars to keep them safe during crashes, a person briefed on the matter said Thursday.

GM will ask Volt owners to return the cars to dealers for structural modifications, said the person, who did not want to be identified because GM executives plan to announce the repairs later Thursday.

The fixes are similar to a recall and involve about 8,000 Volts sold in the U.S. in the past two years. GM is making the repairs after three Volt batteries caught fire following crash tests done by federal safety regulators. The fires occurred seven days to three weeks after tests and have been blamed on a coolant leak that caused an electrical short.

GM’s move is considered a step below a recall, which would be issued by a car company and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

NHTSA and GM have said the electric cars are safe and that no fires have occurred after crashes on real-world roadways.

The Volt has a T-shaped, 400-pound (181-kilogram) battery pack that can power the car for about 35 miles (56 kilometers). After that, a small gasoline generator kicks in to run the electric motor.

NHTSA has been investigating the batteries after a Volt caught fire in June at a crash test facility in Wisconsin. The fire broke out three weeks after a side-impact crash test.

GM said the Volt’s battery should have been drained after the crash, but it never told NHTSA to do that. Later, two GM executives said the company had no formal procedure to drain the batteries until after the June fire. GM has said that the liquid solution used to cool the Volt’s battery leaked and crystallized, causing an electrical short that touched off the fire.

The company now sends out a team to drain the batteries after being notified of a crash by GM’s OnStar safety system.

The company sold 7,671 Volts last year, falling short of its goal of 10,000. It was outsold last year by its main electric car competitor, the Nissan Leaf, at 9,674.

Article originally published by Associated Press on January 5, 2012