Chevy Volt Fires – Will Chevrolet Volts be Recalled?

Chevy Volt Fire Crash Test The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has formally opened a safety defect investigation into the Chevy Volt after several crash tests revealed a fire risk involving the electric cars’ batteries.

Although, as of the date of this article, they have not yet received any confirmed “real-world” reports of this problem resulting in a fire, the NHTSA is concerned because a Chevrolet Volt caught fire in the parking lot three weeks after a side-impact crash test.

GM has maintained since the fire was first reported that the Volt is as safe as any other vehicle, and continues to tout the Volt’s 5-Star safety ratings from the NHTSA on the vehicle’s webpage.

“I want to make this very clear: the Volt is a safe car,” said Jim Federico, GM’s chief engineer. “We are working cooperatively with NHTSA as it completes its investigation. However, NHTSA has stated that based on available data, there’s no greater risk of fire with a Volt than a traditional gas-powered car.”

However, the NHTSA is concerned after damage to the Volt’s batteries resulted in fires, sparks and temperature spikes during three tests designed to replicate real-world crash scenarios. The tests replicate events such as a side-impact crash into a tree or telephone pole, followed by a rollover. The crash tests are designed to damage the battery compartment and rupture the coolant line, followed by a 180 degree rotten of the battery.

“NHTSA is therefore opening a safety defect investigation of Chevy Volts, which could experience a battery-related fire following a crash,” explained an spokesperson for the administration.

According to the NHTSA press release, they are working with the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense to test of the safety of lithium-ion batteries in electric cars. The US Government, along with the auto and gas industries, have been accused of “killing the electric car” once before. If the NHTSA really does launch an in-depth investigation (with the help of the Department of Defense?) into the safety of ALL lithium-ion batteries in electric cars, conspiracy theorists are going to have a field day.

Your Thoughts:
Should the Chevy Volt be recalled? What do the Chevy Volt fires mean for the perceived safety and sales of other electric vehicles? We would love your input in the comments area below.

About

Everett Sizemore is the owner and Editor of US Recall News: http://www.usrecallnews.com. He is dedicated to educating people about consumer safety, social activism and corporate responsibility by bringing information to Americans about the products they use every day.

There are 4 comments. Add yours.

  1. Bo Thompson

    Well I can tell you coming from the automotive industry that this is a government build and there in lies the problem. What if this was a toyota catching fire do you think this would just be a minor problem or do you think every news oginization would take it and run with it, like they did with the brake recall that was proven months later to be a user error but toyota still made it right with thier customers and turned specs over to NASA and the Gov. (AKA, Dodge, GM) and they couldn’t find any problems. But no we are just going to let this one slide because its backed by Pres. and no one would ever want to judge him. Pathetic this vehicle should be recalled and sent back to the drawing board what a joke after a crash or not. I also heard they were starting on fire after just sitting a week or less not even after a crash but in hot or sunny weather just because the inside of the car heated up, which happens all most every day in the summer. Love our Gov vehicles and Pres. lol

    Reply
  2. Johnny Jennings

    The ChevyVolt is the finest automobile I have EVER owned! I can see if there are cars like this in every driveway in America, that the oil industry would pull out ALL the stops to derail this trend of cars like the Volt!

    Reply
  3. Rick

    What a joke…even gas powered cars are known to have caught fire weeks after a accident. And who knows..maybe this is industrial terrorism..maybe someone caused the fire..afterall it was sitting for weeks. Unless more cars do this..its probably not even a concern.

    Reply
  4. Jake

    All vehicles are at risk of catching fire after a crash. The question is, are the Chevy Volt fires more likely to happen, and are they more dangerous when they do? I think one thing that makes them dangerous is that they can occur days after the crash. The battery sits there overheating the entire time, and the fire could start up inside an enclosed space, like an auto garage.

    If this is true, yes, I think there should be a Volt recall. Then again, I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if the NHTSA, DOD, the auto industry and the oil & gas industry were all in cahoots. The auto industry could shrug their shoulders and say “we tried!” while the electric car dies for another ten years – plenty of time to recoup the losses. But that’s just my tinfoil hat going off. The reality is probably much more boring than that – GM pushed technology out the door too early, outsourced the manufacture of the batteries to South Korea, and everyone was in such a hurry to get an electric car on the road that safety tests weren’t properly done. I mean, COME ON… How does a car that catches fire days after a side-impact crash get a 5-Star overall safety rating from the NHTSA – the very organization that is now responsible for looking into the fires?

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