GM has announced new safety enhancements to the 2012 Chevy Volt in response to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Preliminary Evaluation to examine post-severe crash battery performance. NHTSA opened its Preliminary Evaluation on Nov. 25 following a severe-impact lab 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 that resulted in an electrical fire three weeks later.
The enhancements to the vehicle structure and battery coolant system in the Chevy Volt will further protect the battery from the possibility of an electrical fire occurring after a severe crash.
GM has announced these changes/ additions to the Volt:
-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.
“The Volt has always been safe to drive. Now, we will go the extra mile to ensure our customers’ peace of mind in the days and weeks following a severe crash,” said Mary Barra, GM senior vice president of Global Product Development.
“These enhancements and modifications will address the concerns raised by the severe crash tests,” Barra said. “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.”