Thousand Oaks has been assured its electric vehicles, recalled by General Motors last month, will be replaced by year's end, a city official said Tuesday.
GM picked up the city's first-generation EV1 and Chevy S10 truck for repair April 4. Both vehicles, which use the same charging system, were recalled March 8 by GM after it discovered the system's potential for overheating and creating a fire hazard.
The S10 truck should be returned to the city within a few months, and a first- or second-generation EV1 should be available by the end of the year, said Grahame Watts, senior management analyst with the city.
The city is in the middle of three-year leases on the vehicles--a $30,000 lease through Saturn of Thousand Oaks on the first-generation EV1 car, and a $15,000 lease on a Chevrolet S10 truck and a Ford Ranger, both electric vehicles. The Rangers were not affected by the recall.
The city will probably renew leases on both the recalled vehicles and could purchase them when the leases expire, Watts said.
The city had a second-generation EV1 on loan from GM at no charge until today and will request an extension, Watts said. Councilman Dan Del Campo is borrowing the vehicle. The city is also borrowing a Honda electric vehicle through the California Energy Commission for a month at no charge.
It will take nine to 10 months to fix the first-generation EV1 problem because GM must design a new charge port, GM spokesman Donn Walker said.
"It's very important that our customers have a great experience with this car," Walker said. "Before the recall, our customers were telling us that they had an incredible experience with it, and I have no doubt that when they get their cars back, they'll continue to enjoy them."
The cars are also good for the environment. The state will require most auto makers to offer limited numbers of zero-emissions vehicles, such as electric cars, by 2003.