Automotive News reports Opel is delaying delivery of its Ampera extended-range hybrid to customers. The plug-in gas-electric hatchbacks have already arrived at dealers across Europe, but the automaker wants to ensure the vehicles' batteries are safe even in the event of an accident. The delay comes on the heels of a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration evaluation which saw its Chevrolet Volt twin catch fire three weeks after a series of crash tests. Since the Volt and Ampera are mechanically identical, Opel says that it wants to set up a process to deal with the batteries to make sure they're safe.

Both the Volt and the Ampera are assembled at the General Motors plant in Hamtramck, Michigan, and both make use of lithium-ion batteries to power their electric motors. GM has offered to buy back any Chevrolet Volt models from owners concerned about the safety of their vehicle, but few have taken them up on the offer. The company is currently working on a solution to the fire issue, and the U.S. government is investigating why it took NHTSA so long to bring the battery pack problem to light.


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  • 18 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
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        jhott997
        • 3 Years Ago
        Let me get this straight, one is "anti-American" if they question GM or GM's motives? The GM Apologists get loonier every single day. The same politicians who saved GM's ass at the expense of bondholders in 2009 are "anti-American"? Insane!
        Sukairain
        • 3 Years Ago
        Right, Nick says it poses no fire risk so lets just ignore NHTSA fires, GM announcements, all the politicians and the fact that well, some Volts caught fire under some circumstances that apparently doesn't happen in most other cars. Right~ /sarcasm
          lne937s
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Sukairain
          The first battery caught fire 3 weeks latter. The second had a "thermal event" with sparks and smoke immediately after a simulated rollover-- it was extinguished before it became a full-on fire. The third caught fire a little less than a week later. None of the other batteries from other vehicles tested had any issue whatsoever. However, the bottom line is the NHTSA knows what it is doing. They believe there is sufficient reason for a safety defect investigation. I think it is far more baseless and ignorant to think you know more about safety defects than the trained engineers with years of experience in these matters who have multi-million dollar testing facilities at their disposal from which to make their decisions.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Sukairain
          [blocked]
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Sukairain
      • 3 Years Ago
      GM "Maybe if we rebadge the car and sell it overseas this fire problem will go away?" Opel "Hmmmmm~~ No." Imagine what would have happened if NHTSA released the fire info back in June - likely it would have completely killed Volt sale in the US and the car would have died in its infancy.
      dklkse1
      • 3 Years Ago
      Looks like a car The Crow would drive.. if he was a comical superhero.
      sk
      • 3 Years Ago
      I am not sure what Opel was thinking,letting a Chevy to be rebadged as an Opel.Isnt it the other way around recently? I know that Opel is an economy brand in Europe and even rebadges Daewoos but still.II guess this was forced up on them by GM and they had no choice but to see their German brand also up in the FLAMES! (sry couldn't resist it)
      Rob Ascough
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hopefully the delay allows them to put some nicer wheels on the car.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Rob Ascough
        [blocked]
      Chris Goldrick
      • 3 Years Ago
      reminds me of this guy: http://www.sweetslyrics.com/images/img_gal/364_ALICE%20COOPER.jpg
      Smith
      • 3 Years Ago
      http://www.autoaftersales.info/ Chevrolet for you
      Randy Griebel
      • 3 Years Ago
      I saw either the Ampera or Volt on the Champs Elysees in Paris yesterday, but it was just far enough to not see the badge on the back. It was also black and I couldn't make out the wheel details because it was moving.
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