GM modifying Volt amid concerns about battery fires

“The Volt has always been safe to drive. Now, we will go the extra mile to ensure our customers’ peace of mind in the days and weeks following a severe crash,” Mary Barra, GM’s senior vice president of global product development, said in a statement.

GM noted that while the Volt’s potential battery problems have been identified by NHTSA, they have not occurred in real-world conditions.

Thursday’s announcement is the latest bump in the road for the Volt, which has suffered lagging sales. It comes about a week after Fisker Automotive recalled 239 electric vehicles because of a faulty battery component that could cause a fire.

GM said it will strengthen the vehicle to protect the battery against high-impact crashes and install a sensor to monitor battery coolant levels. NHTSA’s crash tests indicated that a coolant leak was responsible for the battery fires.