The safety of the Chevrolet Volt came into question when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was evaluating the Volt to study the battery’s performance after a severe crash. After two crash tests, an electrical fire broke days after the crash test day.
[Rewind: Michigan Chevrolet Dealers to Offer Free Loaner Cars for Volt Drivers]
Instead of making car recalls GM will make the following modifications, as stated in a company press release:
• Strengthen an existing portion of the Volt’s vehicle safety structure to further protect the battery pack in a severe side collision.
• Add a sensor in the reservoir of the battery coolant system to monitor coolant levels.
• Add a tamper-resistant bracket to the top of the battery coolant reservoir to help prevent potential coolant overfill.
GM conducted four successful tests with the new Volt enhancements during Dec. 9 and 21. During those tests there was no leakage of coolant or intrusion into the battery pack.
“These enhancements and modifications will address the concerns raised by the severe crash tests,” Barra said in the same press release announcing the enhancements. “There are no changes to the Volt battery pack or cell chemistry as a result of these actions. We have tested the Volt’s battery system for more than 285,000 hours, or 25 years, of operation. We’re as confident as ever that the cell design is among the safest on the market.”
Volt customers will be notified individually about when the enhancements are going to be available for their Chevrolet Volt vehicles. Additionally, these enhancements will be made on all Volt vehicles slated for production now and in the future.
The changes being made are more of a reinforcement to the battery pack instead of a major change to the battery pack components. Wired magazine reports the fixes will correct “what was always more of a PR maelstrom than a real safety issue. The two fires occurred long after the cars in question were crashed so severely they would have been totaled.”
Even as the safety tests were being conducted by GM, Volt customers made December one of the best selling months since the Volt’s introduction with 1,519 sold.
MI Auto Times will continue to follow this topic. Check back for more coverage.