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Found this statement and comment today

http://www.insideline.com/chevrolet/vol ... ished.html

GM Details Chevrolet Volt Fixes, But Feds Say Safety Probe Isn't Finished


By Anita Lienert, Correspondent | Published Jan 5, 2012


Just the Facts: • General Motors on Thursday announced it is making enhancements to the vehicle structure and battery coolant system in the Chevrolet Volt and Opel Ampera to protect the battery from the risk of an electric fire after a crash.
• But federal safety investigators said they have not concluded their investigation into post-crash fire risk in the Volt.
• GM has not recalled the Volt at this point, saying that the enhancements are a "customer satisfaction activity."


DETROIT — General Motors on Thursday announced it is making enhancements to the vehicle structure and battery coolant system in the Chevrolet Volt and Opel Ampera to protect the battery from the risk of an electric fire after a crash.

"We have made the Volt even safer," said Mark Reuss, president of GM North America in a media conference call. "We will continue on the road to rewriting automotive history with it. You will be missing an opportunity if you don't consider the Volt."

GM has not recalled the Volt at this point.

When asked if this action counts as a recall, Reuss said: "We're treating this as a customer satisfaction activity and we'll leave it at that."

However, the GM announcement was followed immediately by a posting on the Web site of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that said the federal safety agency "has not concluded the (Volt) investigation and is continuing to gather and assess information on the post-crash fire risk in these vehicles."

Reuss said during the call that "while we can't speak for NHTSA, we are optimistic this will have a positive outcome" on the investigation.

A federal investigation into the lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles was launched after a Chevrolet Volt caught fire while stored in a garage in a NHTSA testing center.

NHTSA's Thursday statement said that "based on the work that NHTSA has already completed — under the observation of General Motors and in close consultation with experts from the Department of Energy, and the Department of Defense — it appears that both battery intrusion and coolant leakage must be present to enable post-crash fire in the Volt."

"While the agency remains unaware of any fires from real-world crashes involving the Volt, each of the known cases of fire resulting from laboratory crash tests included these conditions," it noted.

Such a federal investigation sometimes leads to a recall.

GM said the Volt modifications will include strengthening an existing part of the Volt's vehicle safety structure to protect the battery pack in a severe side collision. It will also add a sensor in the reservoir of the battery coolant system to monitor coolant levels and add a tamper-resistant bracket to the top of the battery coolant reservoir to help prevent potential coolant overfill.

GM said it conducted four internal crash tests of Volts with the structural enhancement in December. "The enhancement performed as intended," the company said in a statement. "There was no intrusion into the battery pack and no coolant leakage in any of the tests."

Reuss said that about 250 Volt owners had requested loaner vehicles or asked the company to buy back the car since the post-crash fire risk was made public.

GM said there are roughly 8,000 Volts in customers' hands at this point and another 4,400 on dealer lots that will need the enhancements. The GM Detroit-Hamtramck plant, which is about to gear up for production following the Christmas break, will incorporate the fixes into the Volt.

Chevrolet dealers are expected to have the new parts available in February.

Reuss would not disclose what the Volt fixes will cost the company.

"I'm not going to speculate on the cost," he said. "But I will say that the way we treat this and handle it will model the way General Motors acts in the future. We will stop at nothing to make sure customers are satisfied."

During the conference call, Reuss was asked by one reporter, "Do you think a lot of people walk around thinking Volts burst into flames on impact?"

Reuss replied: "I don't think so. I'm pretty in tune with what people write on the Internet and what our dealers say."

Inside Line says: Good to see that GM isn't waiting around for NHTSA's findings to start addressing potential issues with the Volt.
 

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From "Should be able to place order from today" Thread:

iand said:
This is just been posted on Ampera Blog

http://opel-ampera.com/wp_en/2012/01/05 ... fications/[/b]


News concerning the Ampera modifications. Here’s the latest press release:

“Opel today announced enhancements to the Ampera that are designed to further reduce the potential of a battery fire days or weeks after a severe accident.

The enhancements address concerns raised in the USA by GM and NHTSA about post-crash battery performance of the Chevrolet Volt.

Last year the Ampera already received the maximum five-star safety-rating from Euro NCAP. The enhancements announced today include modifications to the vehicle structure and the battery coolant system, which would provide the battery system with additional protection in a severe side impact.

The modifications in detail:
• Strengthening of an existing portion of the vehicle safety structure
•An additional sensor in the reservoir of the battery coolant system to monitor coolant levels
•A tamper-resistant bracket to the top of the battery coolant reservoir to help prevent potential coolant overfill

“The Ampera has always been safe to drive. Now, our customers will have the additional peace of mind that the Ampera is equally as safe in the days and weeks following a severe crash,” said Karl-Friedrich Stracke, Opel Chief Executive Officer.

The enhancements are being incorporated into the Ampera manufacturing process as production resumes this month after the Christmas break. Cars produced earlier will be retrofitted in Europe, before delivery to customers.

Opel plans to begin delivering the Ampera to customers from February onwards.”

Presumably a low coolant level would be caused by a leak which could potentially be inside the battery pack, this must not be topped up (tamper bracket) and should prevent the vehicle being used until it is identified and fixed ideally as soon as possible (before the battery catches fire!)..

In the case of low coolant and increased battery temperatures an emergency alert (potential Fire) could be sent out via OnStar.. although this is of no use in Europe where OnStar does not operate...


P.
 
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