January 6, 2012
Warren, Michigan – General Motors has announced enhancements to the Chevrolet Volt that will protect the battery from the possibility of an electrical fire following a severe crash. The modifications will enhance the vehicle’s structure and the battery coolant system.
The enhancements come in response to a preliminary evaluation by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to examine post-severe crash battery performance. NHTSA opened the evaluation on November 25, following a severe-impact laboratory test on a battery pack that resulted in an electrical fire six days later. The test was conducted to reproduce a coolant leak that occurred in a full-scale vehicle crash test last May, which resulted in an electrical fire three weeks later.
The modifications will strengthen an existing portion of the Volt’s 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; and add a tamper-resistant bracket to the top of the battery coolant reservoir to help prevent potential coolant overfill.
Volt customers will be individually notified when the modifications are available for their vehicles. The enhancements are also being incorporated into the Volt manufacturing process as production resumes this month.