By Jennifer Geiger on January 23, 2012
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has concluded its safety defect investigation into the Chevy Volt. It opened the case on November 25 after reports of the Volt catching on fire following severe crashes.
"The agency's investigation has concluded that no discernible defect trend exists and that the vehicle modifications recently developed by General Motors reduce the potential for battery intrusion resulting from side impacts," NHTSA said in a statement.
GM has decided to re-engineer the battery coolant system and make structural enhancements to Volt to protect the battery in the event of a crash. The automaker strengthened the structural elements that protect the battery, added a new sensor to the coolant system reservoir to monitor the coolant level and installed a tamper-resistant bracket to the coolant reservoir to prevent overfilling.
NHTSA also stated that there haven't been any real-world Volt crashes that have resulted in battery-related fires. The original fires were reported after lab tests on the Volt's battery pack resulted in an electric fire days later.
Assistant Managing Editor Jennifer Geiger is a reviewer, car-seat technician and mom of three. She wears a lot of hats, many of them while driving a minivan. Email Jennifer