back to article GM offers Volt drivers battery upgrade

General Motors has offered owners of its Volt e-car a free optional battery pack resilience upgrade in a bid to calm fears heightened after one of its cars caught fire after a crash. GM said the upgrade is intended to reduce the risk of an impact-induced coolant leak - the cause of last year's fire. In May 2011, the US …


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Anonymous Coward


Both the Chevrolet Volt and Vauxhall Ampera will be sold in the UK.

They're trying to grow the Chevrolet brand in Europe.


Volt isn't a wonderful name, but Ampera sounds like a sports drink or a line of women's clothing...


Typical FUD startegy

This fire thing is old news.

Apparently, after the crash test(s) the car was left "as is" in some corner & caught fire months later...

NHTSA did not follow the GM procedures = the battery should be inspected after severe crash (& removed/neutralized if needed)...

I bet they do not leave the other test cars just sitting there after the crash with tanks full of petrol and possibly damaged...



I'm not sure "battery upgrade" is the best way to refer to this thing.

If they put in a battery that actually got you something like 80 miles, I'd call that an upgrade.

As Ron1 says, this is just to make a ridiculous thing go away.

Anonymous Coward


Coolant leak causes fire?! What the heck are they using for coolant, and more to the point why aren't the packs designed to resist impact from all directions?

Methinks that in this case the problem may have been cell tabs being dented and piercing the <0.1mm thick mylar on the top cap of one or more cells, with the coolant also leaking the short occurred as the coolant level fell below the level of the short(s).

I had this happen today by accident when dismantling a surplus drill pack and for some reason dislodging the tab on one cell moved it too close to another and FizzzzTTT.. the damned thing made a nasty hissing sound and glowed red hot until I managed to pull off the shorting tab.

Upon examining the damaged cell the region of the short must have only been a fraction of a millimetre but that was evidently enough.

Interestingly the same pack had four other cells measuring 0.0V, and another one had a ruptured cell where it had corroded right around the edge.. !

This wasn't even high capacity cells, the 2600mAh's can be particularly vicious as many model aircraft and R/C enthusiasts will vouch for.


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