General Motors were forced early in March to recall the 2011, 2012, and 2013 lines of their Chevrolet Volt. The recall was issued in attempts to fix the extended electric car’s on-board software, which, in some cases, has accidentally left the gasoline engine running for extended periods of time while parked. GM plans to reprogram the engine management unit seemingly affecting the car’s gas engine. Although no car accidents of any sort have been caused due to the engine’s idleness, there have been two counts of Volt owners suffering from carbon monoxide exposure, since the car did not power down correctly after being parked into the garages. The recall will promptly affect around 64,000 volts manufactured from 2010 to 2013.
The Chevrolet Volt, like many newly made cars, can be operated without keys, as a smart keyfob allows entry into the car and starts it as well. Although, this feature allows the owner to approach the car, enter and drive without having to take the keyfob out of his or her pocket, because the Volt’s engine runs so quietly, it can cause some confusion when turning the car off. Some electric cars will eventually power off after the battery has died, but the Volt comes equipped with a range-extending engine, which will keep the car running after the car has died. Because of such features, if the car is parked in an enclosed space like a garage, carbon monoxide from the engine will quickly fill the space.
Cars operated through keyless systems, often turn off when the key cannot be detected, yet if the keys remain only a few feet away, in the room next to the garage, the car won’t turn off. The GM spokesperson who commented on the recall, stated that this ended up being the case when the two owners were injured by carbon monoxide emission. GM has yet to give a detailed account of the recall’s timeframe but has instructed dealers not to sell any 2011-2013 Volts, until the issue has been fixed. GM also notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the issue as standard operating procedure. Recalls seem to happen in bunches as last week, Kia announced a recall for faulty accelerators. Hopefully, the theme does not continue.