November 29th, 2011 by admin
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on Friday new fires involving the lithium-ion batteries in General Motors Co.’s Chevrolet Volt have prompted an investigation to assess the risk of fire in the electric car after a serious crash.
The safety administration said in a statement one Volt battery pack that was being closely monitored following a government crash test caught fire on Thursday.
GM, which was informed of the investigation on Friday, said in a statement that the Volt “is safe and does not present undue risk as part of normal operation or immediately after a severe crash.”
The latest fires are in addition to a battery fire in a crash-tested Volt six months ago.
NHTSA learned of a possible fire risk involving damaged Volt batteries when a fire erupted in a Volt that was being stored in a parking lot of a test facility in Burlington, Wis. The fire was severe enough to cause several other vehicles parked nearby to catch fire as well.
“NHTSA continues to believe that electric vehicles have incredible potential to save consumers money at the pump, help protect the environment, create jobs and strengthen national security by reducing our dependence on oil,” the agency said.