|One lemon getting into another lemon|
GM announced to employees at one of its facilities in Detroit that it was halting production of the beleaguered electric car for five weeks and temporarily laying off 1,300 employees.
The auto giant says they plan to resume production of the Volt by April 23, 2012.
"We needed to maintain proper inventory and make sure that we continued to meet market demand," GM spokesman Chris Lee said in a telephone interview.
Lee noted that sales of the Volt were higher in February than they were in January, and added that California recently decided to allow the electric car to qualify for High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes in the state.
"We see positive trends, but we needed to make this market adjustment," he said. The Chevy Volt has come under criticism because of reports of its batteries catching on fire during testing.
|Fireman putting out a typical Volt fire|
The Volt also requires a special $3,000 home charger, and while getting high gasoline mileage, can double your power bills by needing to be charged overnight.
Many have argued that the Volt was being pushed by the Obama administration for political reasons instead of consumer demand.
“Is the commitment to the American public or is the commitment to clean energy, that we are going to get there any way we can?” Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) asked in a hearing in the House in January about the Volt's reported battery fires.
“When the market is ready … it won’t have to be subsidized,” Kelly said. Chevy has argued the debate about the Volt has become too political.
|The Volt will save gas, but cost a lot for electricity|
Chevy has sought to give a boost to the public image of the Volt, releasing a commercial in January tying the Volt to the effort to reduce dependence on foreign oil.