Opel delays Ampera deliveries due to battery issues image

General Motors’ European subsidiary Opel has announced it will delay deliveries of its Ampera plug-in hybrid to customers in Europe on battery worries.

The delay is caused by investigations by U.S. authorities into three battery fires following government crash tests of the Ampera’s sibling, the Chevrolet Volt. ”We are not currently delivering the cars to customers while we set up the process to deal with these highly charged batteries to make sure they are safe,” an Opel spokesman told Automotive News Europe.

Opel has already begun delivering the Ampera to dealerships in Germany, France, Switzerland, Belgium and Holland. In June, Opel said the Ampera would be on European roads by the end of the year. In the UK, the Vauxhall Ampera is set to be launched in May.

Build alongside the Volt at GM’s Hamtramck plant near Detroit, the Ampera shares the same technology including the lithium-ion batteries that power the electric motor. The two models have slightly different body styling. GM said it will ship 10,000 Amperas to Europe next year. The Chevrolet Volt is already on sale in Europe, as crash-test fires had no impact on the Volt’s European distribution.