Late last year it was revealed that the Dept. of Transportation was looking into possible problems with the batteries in electric vehicles after a Chevy Volt caught fire following a crash test. Now it looks like General Motors will spend the next few months upgrading the battery containment and coolant systems in every Volt currently on the road.
Thankfully for GM, that’s only around 12,400 vehicles.
According to the Detroit News, the fix will strengthen an existing portion of the Volt’s vehicle safety structure so as to better protect the battery in the event of a severe side collision. Additionally, a sensor will be placed in the reservoir of the battery coolant system to monitor coolant levels, along with a tamper-resistant bracket to the top of the battery coolant reservoir to prevent potential coolant overfill.
Since it was a NHTSA crash test that sparked the first Volt fire, the agency recently ran a crashed test on a new-and-improved Volt and found no fire or intrusion into the battery pack.
“The preliminary results of the crash test indicate the remedy proposed by General Motors Thursday should address the issue of battery intrusion,” NHTSA said in a statement, with the cavet, “The agency has not concluded that investigation and is continuing to gather and assess information on the post-crash fire risk in these vehicles.”
No formal recall has been announced yet, though that may come in the near future. Dealers, who are currently still allowed to sell Volts as-is, won’t be getting the parts to upgrade existing vehicles until February. Meanwhile, the Volts that will come off the GM assembly line in Detroit will include the new safety add-ons.
Shortly after Thanksgiving, Chevy announced that concerned Volt owners could receive free loaner cars.
GM announces structural fixes for Chevrolet Volt [Detroit News]