NHTSA Investigating Potential Safety Defects in Chevy Volt
A few months ago at a federal test site, a Chevy Volt burst into flames three weeks after a crash test. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is opening a formal investigation into safety defects that could result in recalls and design changes in the future.
There appears to be deep concerns with the safety of electric batteries used in electric cars even though the NHTSA admits that the batteries can save on gasoline consumption. According to the NHTSA, “Chevy Volt owners whose vehicles have not been in a serious crash do not have reason for concern.”
in May 2011, a Chevy Volt had undergone crash testing at a NHTSA site. And just three weeks later, while the Chevy Volt was stored in a salvage yard open to the elements with a partially charged battery, it burst into flames.
According to Rob Peterson of Chevrolet Volt Communications, a "second fire occurred when NHTSA conducted tests on a battery only intended to induce a battery failure after a severe crash."
General Motors, the manufacturer of Chevy Volt, says it's complying with NHTSA and it's investigation. In addition, it's monitoring the Chevy Volts that are on the road already. With the OnStar safety communications system, General Motors “knows real time about any crash significant enough to potentially compromise battery integrity.”
General Motors has recently implemented an after-crash procedure to turn off the power to the battery after a severe crash.