GM ready with a cure for faulty battery packs

Saturday 07 January 2012, 11:31 AM by

On 5th January 2012, officials at General Motors claimed that the company has found a solution to the problematic Chevrolet Volt battery packs that caught fire few days after passing the government safest tests.

GM has come up with the idea of covering the Volt's battery pack with layers of steel to avoid puncturing at the time of an accident. A sensor will also be a part of the battery pack to keep a check on coolant leaks.

GM Senior Vice-President, Global Product Development, Mary Barra, said that the move is not a recall but rather a "customer satisfaction program" that aims to enhance the safety offered by Volt and give a psychological satisfaction to its 8,000 Volt owners. "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 Barra.

By February 2012, Volt owners can get the safer battery pack installed by visiting the Chevrolet showrooms. The similar solution is being provided to owners of the Opel Ampera.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave a green signal to the new pack as the crash test it conducted on a Volt dated 22nd December 2011 resulted in zero damage to the battery. However, to be on the safer side, NHTSA said that it will continuously study the tested Volt for another week. "Preliminary results of the crash test indicate the remedy proposed by General Motors today should address the battery intrusion," NHTSA said.

GM will affix the new batter pack during the manufacturing process of Volt at its Detroit-Hamtramck plant, which is currently holding no operations due to holiday break. The new pack will be incorporated when the production starts again.

GM confirmed that of the four crash tests conducted on Volts after fixing the problem, not even one crash resulted in punctured battery pack or coolant leak.

As the car maker comes up with the new battery packs for Volt, the customers would surely be content seeing the fast reaction time towards rectifying the error that would have otherwise created problems for the users.

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