Chevrolet finds fix for Volt’s battery image

General Motors announced on Thursday it has found a fix to the battery pack for the Chevrolet Volt which will eliminate the risk of fire in the aftermath of a crash.

The solution consists in strengthening structural protection for the Volt’s 400-pound lithium-ion battery and also in taking steps to prevent coolant fluid from leaking and triggering a fire. More specifically, GM will add a sensor in the reservoir of the battery coolant system to monitor coolant levels and a tamper-resistant bracket to the top of the battery coolant reservoir to help prevent potential coolant overfill.

GM’s engineers have been trying to come up with a solution to the safety investigation by U.S. regulators since the end of last year. “We’re focused on one thing right now: doing what’s right by our customers,” Mark Reuss, GM North America chief of operations, said in a statement.

In November, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation of the Volt’s battery pack. NHTSA did not comment on GM’s announcement, even though it has the power to review proposed safety fixes by automakers.

GM will notify Volt owners of the fixes in the following days. By February, GM expects that Chevrolet dealerships will start repairing the Volts. Repair work will take two to three hours, according to Mark Reuss.