By on June 19, 2018

Imasge: Mary McCormack/Twitter

Never let a crisis go to waste, goes the saying. In this case, it’s an actress and her husband facing a car shortage and a rival automaker sensing an opportunity for a juicy dig.

Mary McCormack, who appeared on the endlessly referenced political drama The West Wing, tweeted a video of a Model S in flames Friday, claiming the blaze broke out “out of the blue” as her husband’s Tesla cruised through traffic in West Hollywood. She directed her tweet at Tesla.

General Motors has since capitalized on the unsolved blaze, offering McCormack and her husband, identified as director Michael Norris, a new Chevy Bolt.

 

Both Tesla and an investigator from the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the cause of the fire, which was not the result of any collision or known mishap. The NTSB told USA Today that this is not a formal investigation.

As reported by Jalopnik, GM saw an opportunity to make hay. In a subsequent tweet, Ray Wert, GM’s “head storyteller” and former Jalopnik Editor-in-Chief, said the automaker was offering a Bolt loaner to McCormack “so she has a more dependable electric vehicle to drive.”

 

This is the kind of PR automakers dream of. However, GM maintains the offer a one-time occurrence, as Wert is apparently friends with McCormack’s sister.

Chevrolet’s Bolt remains a strong seller, thanks to its comparatively low price and 238-mile driving range. We won’t know exact details about its volume over the past three months until GM issues its quarterly sales report at the beginning of July, but HybridCars.com estimates the first five months of 2018 saw 6,545 Bolts leave lots in the United States. That places the little EV just behind the Tesla Model X in terms of year-to-date sales.

[Image: Mary McCormack/Twitter]

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63 Comments on “Sick Burn: GM Offers Actress Chevrolet Bolt in Wake of Tesla Fire...”


  • avatar
    Cactuar

    This is a non-issue don’t you know that ICE cars catch on fire all the time source1 source2 source3 source4 etc…

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    The Model S Kingsford Edition.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    This is possibly the greatest PR thing GM has ever done.

    Awesome to show what garbage Teslas really are.

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit-Iron

      I still can’t believe that “adults” communicate on twitter. Now get off my lawn!

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        I sometimes wonder about the supposed “adults” right here on TTAC.

      • 0 avatar
        dantes_inferno

        An ever-increasing number of “adults” tend bring the middle school clique mindset with them into adulthood. Case in point: Those who occupy the camps of the two prevailing political ideologies.

        • 0 avatar
          Whittaker

          “An ever-increasing number of “adults” tend bring the middle school clique mindset with them into adulthood. Case in point: Those who occupy the camps of the two prevailing political ideologies.”

          Its really quite unsettling, this semi-adulthood in areas where we need adults.

    • 0 avatar
      srh

      Corporate schadenfreude is a great way to find oneself eating crow when the shoe is on the other foot.

      The smart PR move is to shut up and let your products do the talking.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        If GM had any intention of doing that, they wouldn’t have a slimy propagandist on staff. “Head storyteller” is a job title outside of a totalitarian regime?

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    It was pretty wicked, the way the flames were shooting out from under the bottom of the car. If GM offered a Model S-sized EV, instead of just the Bolt, maybe they could steal away some more sales.

    I expect that when Mercedes-Benz and Porsche release their EVs, it will be the beginning of the end for Tesla.

    • 0 avatar

      Porsche has Taycan all our sales!

      -Tesla 2020

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        If the Taycan gets priced at $75k, with the subsidies in my state it would cost $65k. Compare that with a Model 3 at the same price. No contest.

        • 0 avatar

          I expect the 600+HP Taycan to be above even the Panamera Hybrid in pricing.

          It’s very large, and will be very expensive.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            Porsche just bought 10% of Rimac which produces two-speed gearboxes and has 4 motor systems. Because of the Rimac buy, I’d bet a four motor two-speed Taycan will probably be at the high end and that’s going to push $200k. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to resist and need to adjust my budget.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy67

      re: “I expect that when Mercedes-Benz and Porsche release their EVs, it will be the beginning of the end for Tesla.”

      Looks like the iPace will tell the story sooner.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      EVs definitely need more sex appeal. The Bolt is a good left brain effort, but a $36K EV that only appeals to logic is a tough cell. Very few people are excited about a Bolt (or even a Volt frankly)

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Tesla sales are on fire!

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      28, had to share this one

      https://nashville.craigslist.org/cto/d/1998-lincoln-mark-viii/6600718162.html

      If I wasn’t off work for the summer (jobs are supposed to start back up in August, fall/winter/spring is prime time for this kind of work), I’d make it mine.

      Also, I am thinking (when the jobs pick back up) of buying my cousin’s 2013 F-150 4×4 XLT SuperCrew. Has 103k, he has owned it since new, and even with oversized off-road tires and some towing (16′ trailer with two ATVs and a lawnmower), the EcoBoost averages 16.7 MPG. The only things it has required since new was a set of brake rotors and he just put new spark plugs in it. Its in great condition. Kbb says its worth around $20k, but I’m sure I can get it for less than that.

      The only reason he is selling it is because he bought a larger (5th wheel) camper and a Super Duty to pull it with, so the F-150 is no longer needed.

      I figured I’d buy a 2nd set of wheels/tires for it with less aggressive tires to use when I’m on the road, and keep the off-road set for when I’m home and going camping, etc. We used the truck a lot this past week, launching the boat off a sand bar and going back down there to use it to fish. 4×4 works flawlessly, although with those tires, we really only needed it after a heavy rain that made the trail going to the sandbar washed out.

      • 0 avatar

        Gosh those Collector’s Edition badges are some cheap sh!t.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Gorgeous.

        Sounds good but if you can’t swing $4K how can you swing $15-20K? Got to be 3-4 bucks a month for a truck at recon age/miles. Water pump? Serp belt? Coolant change? Brake and tranny fluid? Diff oil? What’s your recon cost after the initial buy?

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          Well, the one job I went on was only 9 weeks, and I had plenty of stuff to catch up on with that money (I also helped my parents out quite a bit). That won’t be the case every time. The one starting in August is to be 5-6 months, and I’m to start at a higher wage than what I was making. I should be able to put enough money back to cover any payments I’ve committed to during that job.

          I am going to sit down and work the numbers out before I even apply for the loan or make an offer. Its just something I’m considering.

          Obviously, I’d need to curtail buying cars like that Lincoln if I got myself under a monthly payment, lol, which is the best reason I can think of to NOT do it, haha!

  • avatar
    theBrandler

    Why must all American car brands suck? Granted Tesla is by far the worst of the lot, but in my short adult life, I’ve been more ashamed of American auto brands than aspiring to own any of their products. Tesla has exacerbated this to the nth degree. My only consolation, is they are from California, so technically it’s foreign… /s

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Ancient alien theorists believe the flaming chariot mentioned in the Bible may have been a Model S.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    Wait, who’s offering the Bolt?
    GM? Ray Wert, or (isn’t he still with) Jalopnik?*** I guess my reading comprehension is joining my faulty memory somewhere, but I don’t think it was clear who exactly offered the Bolt.

    I will say this: As a GM enthusiast, and as much as I think the Bolt is a neat small car, it’s still that. A small car. Which doesn’t have nearly the cachet that the Model S would have in an area like that.

    It’s kind of like being offered a Corolla when your S-Class won’t start.

    ***EDIT: I didn’t realize that Mr. Wert had changed jobs. But my point stands, who offered the car? GM or Mr. Wert? I don’t think it’s clear

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      I agree on the Bolt not being comparable to the S, but a running Corolla beats a dead Benz any day. Hell, a running 1995 Kia Sephia is preferable to walking, not that these people couldn’t afford other means of transportation.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        But do you want to be SEEN in the Corolla? Especially if you are a well known actress. My guess is the insurance company will step in with an appropriate loaner vehicle. GM should have offer an ELR at least. Nobody driving a Telsa is going to accept a Bolt.

        • 0 avatar
          dantes_inferno

          Given the choice between a Tesla, Chevy Bolt and Toyota Corolla, I would BOLT away from all three vehicles.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            If you ask me (and I know you didn’t) it all depends on personal wants and needs. If all you want and need is a city car, then the Bolt is a near-ideal choice. Charge at home and good for several days of average driving before needing to recharge. The Corolla is also a good city car, but far more wasteful of energy (roughly ¼ of the effective mpg) while having the ability to take longer trips if desired. The drawback of both of these is their relative size and comfort. Honestly? Take your pick. I’d go for the Bolt for economy’s sake as the recharges would cost less than refueling the Corolla and the only regular maintenance that should be required will be tires and windshield washer fluid. Even brake work should be significantly reduced as regenerative braking can do the majority of the work and if you’re a sensible driver you’re already capable of extending brake life over 70K miles.

            However, to me the Tesla is still the better choice. Its battery-electric drive offers the same economy advantages as the Bolt while having a charging infrastructure in place to allow road trips between cities and even across the country as long as you stay near the Interstate highway network. Nor is the Tesla limited to the Superchargers, as with adapters (available from Tesla) you can basically use any current-standard charger along with Tesla’s destination chargers, installed at many hotels across the country. The other brands of BEVs will eventually gain a similar network but that network currently is spotty at best and priced for equivalent cost of gasoline per mile or range (about 3x to 4x the average electric rate in that region.) Yes, there is still a question as to whether Tesla will survive as a company or not but if you’re not that worried about it, the Tesla comes across as the superior choice. For now.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Also, Ford has offered the actress a F-150 or EcoSport.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    Cute to know GM thinks the Bolt and the Model S appeal to the same customers.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      That’s what I was thinking. This would be a far “sicker burn” if the Bolt didn’t look like an Easter egg. It’s a far better car, but there’s no prestige to be had for an actress and director. It’s a risk, but Musk should consider buying a Bolt for them in the worst possible color, hand-painting some bunnies and spring flowers on it, and delivering it in person while filming their reaction upon seeing it.

      As an aside, I’d happily zip around in a Bolt. 200 miles of range, 0-60 in 6.5 and 30-50 in 2.5 seconds? Sold. I don’t care what it looks like. Make mine orange. If you’re going to drive an egg, be seen.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      When a Mustang GT350 burns to the ground, I doubt Chevy would offer the Ford customer a Cruze as a conquest product.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Computer: initiate autodestruct sequence.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    Sorry, I thought you said Mary McDonnell. Now I’m so disappointed.

    Depending on the market, Tesla could call this a feature instead of a bug. It looks like one of those anti-carjacking flamethrowers that appeared in South Africa several years ago.

  • avatar
    Carroll Prescott

    “Hot Rod Tesla. When you see flames on the side of our car, they aren’t painted on like everyone else does. Our flames are real!”

    Statement from Elon Muskrat

  • avatar
    ceipower

    What is it about Tesla that that brings out the fanboys and the haters at every turn, every newsclip? What about those who look at just the facts? Gasoline powered vehicles burst into flames every day…Fact! People fall asleep while behind the wheel every day…Fact! Drunk/drugged drivers kill fellow motorists every day…Fact! A Tesla erupts into flame and it’s on the World News Tonight. Step back , the sky isn’t falling here. As for GM , what A low-class move on their part. They (GM) should have spent as much effort trying to satisfy their own customers who bought those GM diesels, or the Cadillac V4-6-8 , or the Vega ,or the Citation ,or the Fiero , or those Chevy Trucks a few years back with the saddle tanks that tented to ignite in a side impact. the list could go on and on couldn’t it?

    • 0 avatar
      david lewis

      That GM went out of existence years ago.

      Those were the responsibility of “Motors Liquidation Company” which folded in 2011.

      Even if this GM was that GM I’m not sure how dogs and dregs of cars 30 to almost 50 years old is relevant.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    I’d guess she turned down the Bolt offer.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Maybe the Model S self-immolated to protest Chinese policy toward Tibet.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    If it had been a Leaf, the snark attacks would be endless.

  • avatar
    walleyeman57

    GM better be careful here. Offering to loan cars to every Tesla owner who’s car died could be pretty expensive. Also when/if Bolts start having problems this offer won’t age well.

  • avatar
    Peter Gazis

    I wouldn’t be suprized if Mary McCormack takes GMs offer. It would be good publicity for her and GM.

  • avatar
    Nick_515

    “Head storyteller”?


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