NHTSA began studying the Volt batteries after a test car caught fire last June at a facility in Wisconsin. The fire broke out three weeks after a side-impact crash test.
At first, GM blamed NHTSA for the June fire, saying it should have drained the battery to prevent any fires after the test. But the company quickly retreated and said it never told NHTSA to drain the battery. GM executives also said there was no formal procedure in place to drain batteries after crashes involving owners.
NHTSA opened an investigation into the Volt's safety in November following that fire and two others that occurred after tests.
Now the company sends out a team to drain the batteries after being notified of a crash by its OnStar safety system.
Publicity about the fires touched off a massive effort by GM engineers to find the cause and fix the problems quickly. In December, GM CEO Dan Akerson said the company would buy back Volts from any owner who wasn't satisfied. Earlier, the company offered free loaner cars to Volt owners if they were concerned about safety.
So far, about 250 of the owners have asked for a loaner or a buyback, Reuss says.
Parts for the repairs will be available in February. GM said it will contact all Volt owners and advise them to set up an appointment for dealers to make the repairs. Reuss said the repairs should take two to three hours.
The company also will add steel in all North American Volts and European Opel Amperas produced in the future at a Detroit factory.
- Court: Mormon church, members not liable in...
- Actor Paul Walker dies in car crash; was...
- Obama: Income inequality a defining challenge
- Switched at birth, man raised in poverty...
- Detroit officially enters bankruptcy
- Research: Native American genes have Eurasian...
- Newtown releases 911 calls showing anguish...
- Notre Dame sues over health care law's birth...
- Obama: Income inequality a defining... 71
- Croatians vote against same-sex marriage 43
- Court: Mormon church, members not... 33
- Fast food outlets planning strike for... 25
- Obama declares health care law is... 20
- Notre Dame sues over health care law's... 19
- Detroit officially enters bankruptcy 18
- Research: Native American genes have... 14