Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

It Runs in the Family: Voltís Cousin, Chevy Cruze, Investigated for Fires
Townhall.com ^ | April 3, 2012 | John Ransom

Posted on 04/03/2012 1:41:11 AM PDT by Kaslin

The Chevy Cruze, which is the same car, right down to the lug nuts as the Chevy Volt- minus, you know, the voltage- is being investigated for engine fires that Reuters says “in many cases completely engulfed the vehicles in flames.” 

So, let me be the first to apologize to General Motors.

I’ve been complaining about the negligible environmental benefits of the Volt, of the federal tax subsidies for the Volt and of the $23,000 difference in sticker price between the Cruze and the Volt.

And I’m willing to state here and now: I was wrong.

Quite obviously you were right, General Motors.

The environmental benefits of the Volt- which reports have shown only create relatively small fires contained in the engine compartment of the Volt- far outweigh the fires in  conventional General Motors cars, like the Cruze, which we now know may engulf the entire vehicle in flames.

“A driver in a 2011 Cruze Eco said the car started smoking near the engine bay,” writes Reuters. “The first flame appeared soon after the driver stopped the car and within five minutes, the Cruze was ‘totally engulfed,’ the complaint said. A warning light on the dashboard illuminated only after the first sign of fire.”

Compare that to the Volt, where fires only broke out after being left unattended subsequent to crash tests when apparently coolant mixed with the Volt’s unique, lithium-ion battery to cause the fires.

Sure, the battery of the Volt still has enough power to kill a man, but at least death would be instantaneous.

Also, you can see another way that "green" works: Just in the case of BTUs (British Thermal Units) created by the comparative fires, the Volt fire would tend to produce a lot less global warming than a fully engulfed Chevy Cruze would.

Good thinking GM.

What a progressive, forward thinking company.

The question then becomes: Is $23,000 worth it to prevent the entire vehicle from being engulfed in flames?

I have not done the math that General Motors design engineers did in coming up with the ergonomics and economics of fire protection.

But yeah, all things being equal, I think my life is probably worth at least $23,000 of MSRP (Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price).

And I applaud GM for putting pen to paper and figuring out scientifically the value of a human life not incinerated by being totally engulfed in flames.  Lest we forget, it’s probably one of the benefits of the Obamacare death panels that GM was able to have that data right at its fingertips when calculating MSRP.  

But I recognize that there are others out there who would disagree with that assessment- at least as to the value of my human life.

Now that we’ve covered global warming and personal safety aspects in comparing the Volt and the Cruze, let’s compare the environmental benefits of the two cars.

I’m not an environmental scientist, so I’m going to have to rely more on back of the envelope calculations along with some internet research. But consider this: By my estimation the Chevy Cruze comes with a couple hundred pounds of plastic parts including body panels. According to Women in Europe for a Common Future, burning plastic is one of the most environmentally unfriendly things you can do, producing some of the most toxic chemicals known in the environment.

“A few of these pollutants such as mercury,” writes WECF in a fact sheet not written specifically about the Cruze, but certainly might be applicable  “polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins and furans persist for long periods of time in the environment and have a tendency to bio-accumulate which means they build up in predators at the top of the food web.”

So count me a changed man.   

John Voelcker of Green Car Reports has hailed the turnaround of conservative opinion on the Volt in his piece Right Wing Volt Flip-Flop? Now It's An Energy Security Hero! (Video).

Citing a FoxNews story that didn’t rip the Volt for the bailout, the engine fires, slow sales and the news that former president George HW Bush bought a Volt for is son Neill, the Green Car author was left writing: “We've always believed that energy security is one of the little-understood benefits of plug-in cars,” said Voelcker, “but could the more reactionary parts of the right be waking up to that very patriotic argument?”

Yes we are, John.

But forget energy security. The more reactionary elements of the right think more about personal security. 

Count me as all red, white and blue for any car that won’t engulf me in flames before the little indicator light on the dashboard starts blinking.

As the Chevy Cruze just proves, when it comes to design, the federal government can do worse than the Volt.

Really.     


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 04/03/2012 1:41:16 AM PDT by Kaslin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

But of course! It goes with 0bammy’s “Burn, baby, burn” politics..


2 posted on 04/03/2012 1:59:59 AM PDT by sheik yerbouty ( Make America and the world a jihad free zone!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
The question then becomes: Is $23,000 worth it to prevent the entire vehicle from being engulfed in flames?

I have not done the math that General Motors design engineers did in coming up with the ergonomics and economics of fire protection.

But yeah, all things being equal, I think my life is probably worth at least $23,000 of MSRP (Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price).

This sounds like Milton Friedman schooling Michael Moore.

3 posted on 04/03/2012 3:47:43 AM PDT by OrioleFan (Republicans believe every day is July 4th, Democrats believe every day is April 15th.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

You would think that fuses would at least be updated in government motor’s century old car. The first cars were electric, they scrapped that because it sucked/sucks .We don’t need to do this again.


4 posted on 04/03/2012 4:39:36 AM PDT by allmost
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

American communists (AKA unions) can not design anything any better than did their Soviet Era counterparts.

Trabbies are coming! Trabbies are coming!


5 posted on 04/03/2012 5:15:49 AM PDT by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon freedom, it is necessary to examine principles."...the public interest)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: allmost
I am really tired of all this GM bashing. Any vehicle can catch on fire. The Volts’ fires occured after severe rear end collisions during testing. What is wrong with testing them? Better a fire then than on the road.
As far as the Cruze burning? As I said, any vehicle can catch on fire. Shit happens.
I have an ‘08 DTS, not American made. It already has well over 100,000 miles on it. I bought it intending it to be my last car purchase, and I do not regret that decision at all.
Can not you people criticize constructively?
6 posted on 04/03/2012 5:18:31 AM PDT by Rannug ("God has given it to me, let him who touches it beware.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Rannug

WTF is a DTS?


7 posted on 04/03/2012 6:22:56 AM PDT by Blado (Hey libs - write in Mick Jagger! He's the more Authentic African-American!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Rannug

Not American made? I thought they all came from Hamtramck.


8 posted on 04/03/2012 6:27:41 AM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Blado

DeVille Touring Sedan by Cadillac.


9 posted on 04/03/2012 6:30:08 AM PDT by Rannug ("God has given it to me, let him who touches it beware.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: jjotto

Mine was made in Canada.
Great workmanship.


10 posted on 04/03/2012 6:30:59 AM PDT by Rannug ("God has given it to me, let him who touches it beware.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Rannug

Hopefully your profession is not in any way related to automotive production or maintenance.

Many millions of man hours go in to designing and validating even a single vehicle, so that NO, shit like this does NOT happen in normal operation. Are these vehicles actually to blame? I don’t know, but it’s certainly worth looking into.


11 posted on 04/03/2012 6:41:48 AM PDT by Jack of all Trades (Hold your face to the light, even though for the moment you do not see.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Rannug

Let me help a bit too. Part of it is the numbers - there have been A LOT MORE Volt fires, as a percentage, than probably any other modern vehicle (and no, I cannot back that up, because we aren’t given those statistics).

Second, GM has a “Rapid Response” team that is on call 24/7. Once On-Star says there’s an accident, the team is on their way. They get there as fast as possible to disarm the battery. Ever hear of that before? There’s nothing like it, not for compressed natural gas, not for gasoline, not for diesel. This is something that’s doable with a few thousands volts - but with tens of millions of future electric cars, I don’t know.


12 posted on 04/03/2012 4:04:20 PM PDT by BobL
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

And to think that, if the bond holders hadn’t been screwed, I might have bought one of these cars.


13 posted on 04/03/2012 4:04:34 PM PDT by TwelveOfTwenty (Compassionate Conservatism? Promoting self reliance is compassionate. Promoting dependency is not.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Rannug; All

So you don’t mind tax payer bailing out GM??


14 posted on 04/03/2012 6:16:56 PM PDT by KevinDavis (Go Mitt Go!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: KevinDavis

Yes I do mind. I also mind the government mandates. I mind the piss poor management. I mind the union demands. As with alll things government, it went from one extreme, no actions, to the other extreme, overwhelming mandates, forced compliance of whims. And perhaps most of all, I mind owe bama being in the WH.


15 posted on 04/04/2012 6:13:48 AM PDT by Rannug ("God has given it to me, let him who touches it beware.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: BobL

“and no, I cannot back that up”
Ah, an honest poster. :-) I thought I read that these fires were after rear end testing collisions. And maybe one fire on the highway. I am sorry these fires occur, and I hope they get out all the bugs quickly, but I believe the Volt might be an up and coming vehicle. I don’t like the cost, nor do I like the rebates, or what ever they are.


16 posted on 04/04/2012 6:32:52 AM PDT by Rannug ("God has given it to me, let him who touches it beware.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Jack of all Trades

“so that NO, shit like this does NOT happen in normal operation.”

I respectfully beg do differ with you sir.


17 posted on 04/04/2012 6:35:59 AM PDT by Rannug ("God has given it to me, let him who touches it beware.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson