The Chevrolet Volt has seen better days.
Detroit’s “Moon Shot” is expected to miss its sales target of 10,000 cars by the end of 2011 as General Motors works with the feds to come up with a solution to prevent the kind of impact-induced fires that have occurred in the plug-in hybrid’s battery pack as a result of crash testing.
To manage the crisis, General Motors has offered to give concerned Volt owners loaner cars until the issue has been resolved, or even buy back their cars outright.
Several dozen people have already accepted automaker's offers, but one very prominent customer will be hanging onto its cars for now.
New York Police Department Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne tells FoxNews.com that the nation’s largest police force is keeping its fleet of 20 Volts in service. (There are currently only 19 on the streets of the Big Apple after one of them was damaged in an accident that did not result in a battery pack fire.) The cars are part of a citywide fleet of 50 Volts serving several government agencies.
The deputized Chevys are used by civilian traffic enforcement agents who patrol for illegally parked cars and assist with directing traffic. The vehicles are part of a larger fleet of hybrids used by the NYPD that includes the Toyota Prius and Ford Fusion.
Browne says his department has had no issues with its Volts, but “continues to monitor their performance closely and await the NHTSA’s findings.”
The Volt has an all-electric range of 35 miles, according to the EPA, or until its battery pack has been depleted. A small internal combustion engine then turns on generate electricity for its electric motors and provide some mechanical propulsion, allowing it to be refilled quickly at a gasoline station for longer trips and return a combined fuel economy rating of 37 mpg in this mode.
Gary Gastelu is FoxNews.com's Automotive Editor.