Volt owners can expect General Motors to ask them to bring their vehicles into authorized dealers so that the structure around the batteries can be strengthen.
On Thursday, General Motors announced that they have plans to enhance the Volt’s structure and battery coolant system that will strengthen the protection of the 400-pound lithium-ion battery and protect it from catching fire a few days or weeks after a serious crash.
According to MSNBC, GM’s move is in response to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration preliminary evaluation (NHTSA) to look carefully at battery performance after a severe crash.
According to the Washington Post, the government did not force GM to make repairs to the car, even though three Volt batteries caught on fire last year at government testing sites. The fires occurred seven days to three weeks after side-impact tests were done. The crashed caused the plastic battery pack to become damaged, and then caused coolant to leak. An electrical short resulted because of the coolant, and then the fires sparked.
A steel plate will be added, and it will protect the battery. This will help spread the impact of a crash’s force over a bigger area, according to GM’s product developmental chief, Mary Barra.
There are 8,000 Volts that are eligible for the free repairs. The Volts’ repairs are covered under GM’s “customer satisfaction program,” which is almost like a safety recall, except it allows the automaker to avoid all the bad publicity that comes along with a recall.
Mark Reuss, GM's North American president, said that the Volt is now much safer. The NHTSA said that the solution that GM has provided should take care of the problem.