General Motors has modified the vehicle structure and battery coolant system of the Chevrolet Volt and Vauxhall Ampera, following concerns in the US that an electrical fire could occur after a severe crash.
Concerns were raised by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Preliminary Evaluation when it examined post-severe crash battery performance. During its tests, a battery fire occurred six days after a severe-impact.
“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.
Modifications include strengthening an existing portion of both cars' safety structure to further protect the battery pack in a severe side collision. A sensor in the reservoir of the battery coolant system has also been added to monitor coolant levels, and a tamper-resistant bracket has been fitted on top of the battery coolant reservoir to help prevent potential coolant overfill.
All Volts and Amperas that will be sold in the UK will be manufactured with the modifications in place, meaning buyers will not be subject to any recalls.