Chevy Volt's love-hate relationship: Image issues remain for car of the year

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A few days after its production temporarily stopped because of low sales, the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid has been named the 2012 European Car of the Year at the Geneva Auto Show. It shares the award with Opel Ampera, its European sibling.

The Volt won North American Car of the Year in 2011 among several other accolades. But the Volt has also been a controversial newcomer to the green car market. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigated the vehicle after several odd batteries fires. And although the NHTSA reported the Volt wasn't defective, sales have not improved.

General Motors says it has received about 7,000 orders for the Ampera in Europe already and expected to sell more than 10,000 of the new vehicles this year. The Ampera has just begun it debut.

The Volkswagen Up! and Ford Focus finished second and third in the balloting among 59 journalists from 23 European countries.



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