Recently, Chevrolet Volt fire hazards resulting from compromised battery cells have been under particular scrutiny by the NHTSA. Addressing the issue, GM has been informing Volt owners to bring their vehicles back to dealerships where steel plates will be fitted to increase protection surrounding the Volt’s lithium-ion batteries.
At an interview yesterday during the 2012 Detroit Auto Show at Cobo Center, National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator David Strickland expressed that the U.S. auto-safety regulators are pleased with GM’s plan to fix Volt vehicles in response to the fires that have been reported.
“They really did put the customers first,” Strickland said. “This really is a safety issue.”
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood added that, “It’s in everybody’s best interest to make sure the Volt is safe to drive.” LaHood added that GM, “worked very cooperatively” with regulators.
Demand for the Volt dropped after the fire hazard was revealed. While GM expected to sell 10,000 units in 2011, only 7,671 were eventually sold. Undeterred, GM expects demands to significantly rise for 2012, and has expanded production of the Volt to 60,000 units this year.