The Chevrolet Volt has come under attack after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched an investigation into its battery packs. Concerned Volt owners were recently offered non-Volt loaners while the situation was looked into, and now GM CEO Dan Akerson says the company is considering redesigning the battery.
"We want to assure the safety of our customers, of our buyers, and so we're just going to take a time out, if you will, in terms of redesigning the battery possibly," Dan Akerson told Reuters. The NHTSA opened a formal safety defect investigation into the Volt after one caught on fire three weeks after it was crash-tested. It was determined damage to the battery pack and coolant line were to blame.
Diving deeper into the case, NHTSA conducted three more tests on the Volt and kept a watchful eye on the battery packs. Problems with the pack escalated with each test, with the battery’s temperature temporarily increasing after the first, and a fire igniting after the second test.
These results may put a damper on the Volt’s image, but Akerson was quick to point out the Volt achieved five-star safety ratings. "It is a safe car," he said. "We just want make sure that there are protocols post-crash.” GM also stresses there are no flaws in the battery cells, and that they are safe during and immediately after a crash. It's important to note that not one Volt has been involved in an accident that resulted in a fire on public roads.