Potential buyers seem to be steering clear of the Chevrolet Volt in the wake of reports that the plug-in hybrid experienced several fires following federal crash tests – which could pose a serious problem for General Motors as it prepares for a sharp ramp-up in production for 2012.
Meanwhile, a House panel has scheduled a hearing next month to look into the safety of the Chevy Volt – and the way the Obama Administration has handled the investigation so far. The nation’s top transportation official, despite three fires involving the Volt after testing, has declared the plug-in “safe to drive.”
Separately, GM is reportedly studying changes to the Volt’s battery pack to prevent the possibility of fire after a crash. Such a fix could be announced in a matter of weeks, according to the Detroit Free Press.
The crisis began last month when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration first reported that a Volt it had subjected to a side-impact crash test in May caught fire three weeks later. Another series of tests last month resulted in a second fire, with a third battery sputtering and smoking.