Some of GM’s hybrid cars are stuck in neutral due to battery-failures. GM discovered an internal leak in the nickel metal hydride batteries used in the 2007 Saturn Vue Green Line and the Saturn Aura Green Line hybrids and issued a recall in December. While the leak caused the hybrid system to shutdown, the vehicles could still be driven.
Up until now GM has used 9,000 battery packs to replace the leaked ones, slowing down the launch of the 2008 Saturn hybrids and the 2009 Chevrolet Malibu hybrid.
GM planned on selling 27,000 mild hybrid vehicles this year, but as a result of the recall on the leaked batteries, sales have been slow. According to a GM insider, the company will fall far short of its goal because of the problem.
Up until April, GM has sold only 326 units of the Saturn Vue Green Line, compared to 2,683 sales during the same period in 2007. The Aura Green line hybrid sold only 69 units up until April. GM will start production of the 2009 Malibu Hybrid on June 23. The Battery supply issue is expected to be resolved.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)