Report: GM engineers close to fixing Chevrolet Volt battery issue

General Motors engineers are close to finalizing proposed fixes for the Chevrolet Volt battery pack that engineers believe would get rid of the risk of fire being triggered days after a crash, according to sources that spoke with Reuters today.

The Volt has been under fire since the NHTSA opened a formal probe into the plug-in hybrid electric-car this past weekend following test results that caused electrical fires up to three weeks after crash test.

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Sources say that the proposed repair would involve laminating the circuitry in the Volt’s battery pack, reinforcing the case surrounding the lithium-ion battery. The solution would better protect the coolant system from leaks in a severe crash.

GM engineers are expected to provide an update senior management by the end of the week. The fix is expected to be of relatively low-cost.

Refresher: The 2012 Chevrolet Volt is powered by 16-kWh, ‘T’-shaped lithium-ion battery that powers the electric drive unit, which allows it to drive 40 miles on battery power alone. The system puts out 149-hp and a maximum torque of 273 lb-ft, allowing the Volt to go from 0-60 mph in about 9 seconds, hitting a top speed of 100 mph. The battery can be re-charged by plugging into a household outlet and takes 4 hours to recharge on 240 volts, and about 10-12 hours on a standard 120-volt outlet. The Chevrolet Volt also carries an 84-hp 1.4 4-clyinder engine that allows the five-door, FWD sedan to travel additional miles while averaging a fuel-economy of 50 mpg. A fully charged battery and full tank of gas will allow the Volt to travel 379   miles. The 2012 Chevrolet Volt gets an EPA estimated 93 miles per ’gallon-equivalent’ when driving under electric power only, 37 mpg when in gasoline mode and over the long term it is estimated to get 60 miles per gallon in combined gasoline-powered and electric-powered driving. Prices for the 2012 Chevrolet Volt start at $39,995 but with a full federal income tax credit (which range from $0 to $7,500), the Volt can cost a total of $32,495.

– By: Omar Rana

Source: Automotive News