GM is close to having a fix for the Volt battery that had a tendency to go up in flames after a crash. Meanwhile in Washington, senators are getting the grill ready.
Reuter’s Detroit bureau reports that repairs under consideration involve laminating circuitry in the battery pack, a reinforced case for the battery, and leakproofing the coolant system.
The good part is that the fix could be performed at GM dealerships, which, says Reuters, “could spare the automaker the cost and reputation damage from a more involved safety recall.” In other words, GM would not have to take the car back. Currently, Volt customers drive around with loaners while their Volts remain parked.
Reuters heard the solution before GM senior management did. Management will be shown the fix by the end of the week. The cost is said to be less than $9 million for GM, or about $1,000 per Volt. If NHTSA regulators want a more involved solution, it will be more expensive.
GM spokesman Rob Peterson had not heard of the fix: “To the best of my knowledge, we’re not discussing exact solutions at this point,” he told Reuters.
While GM is dousing the flames, DC is preparing a grilling.
The regulatory subcommittee of the House Oversight panel wants to hold a hearing next month. It wants to know why it took nearly six months for the matter to become public and whether the committee should have been advised. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened a probe of the Volt’s battery pack last month.