Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Posts Tagged ‘chevy volt fire’

NHTSA Weighing in on Fisker Karma Fire

Plenty of finger-pointing but still no clear cause.

by on May.22, 2012

The Karma might look light and nimble but weighs nearly 5,300 pounds.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is the latest to wade into the debris trying to figure out the cause of a fire in a Texas garage, earlier this month, that consumed a Fisker Karma and several other luxury vehicles.

The conflagration was originally blamed by local authorities on the Fisker plug-in sports car but that initial explanation is being challenged by the carmaker – which pointedly revealed that the car’s lithium-ion battery pack was intact after the blaze.  For its part, Fisker has suggested there might even be some mischief at work, hinting that the fire might have been purposely set.

Subscribe Now!

For its part, NHTSA is simply describing the investigation as “ongoing,” and declining to join the finger-pointing.

“We are still engaged in that activity, and no determination has been made at this time,” Claude Harris, NHTSA’s director of vehicle compliance, said during an electric vehicle safety forum.


A123 Recalling Faulty Electric Vehicle Batteries

Acknowledges blame for recent Fisker fiasco.

by on Mar.26, 2012

A123 has accepted responsibility for recent problems with the Fisker Karma battery pack.

Admitting it supplied the faulty pack that failed during a recent, highly publicized test of the Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid, battery maker A123 has announced the recall of lithium-ion batteries it has provided for five electric vehicle programs.

While the supplier declined to identify the other automakers impacted by the recall or the precise number of batteries, it indicated the total cost of replacing potentially defective batteries will come to $55 million.

Your News Source!

“This is absolutely not a good time” for the recall to occur, conceded David Vieau, CEO of A123 Systems, one of the largest providers of lithium-ion batteries for automotive applications – especially as it comes only a few months after a widely reported problem with the battery pack used in the Chevrolet Volt.  But Vieau insisted it is “not a widespread problem that would challenge the viability of the technology.”


Did Feds Inadvertently Cause Chevy Volt Fire?

Feds didn't follow protocol after crash test.

by on Nov.11, 2011

Did NHTSA inadvertently cause a fire after crash testing a Chevrolet Volt?

Copyright 2011 by

The spotlight is on the Chevrolet Volt following word that one of the plug-in hybrids caught fire while being tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. But has learned that the fire was readily preventable had a few simple steps been taken after a Volt was put through a series of tests three weeks earlier.

Federal regulators have promised a full investigation of the spring incident in which the Volt caught fire and burned several nearby vehicles.  That has raised serious questions about the safety of its batteries, though GM officials say it may instead require adapting federal crash tests – as well as what happens in the field in the event of a real collision.

The Full Story!

The fire occurred at a private facility in Wisconsin where the NHTSA conducts crash tests on new vehicles.  On May 12, the battery car was subject to a so-called “pole” test, where it is rammed into a barrier at 20 mph to simulate a side impact.  The vehicle was then subject to what is known informally as the “rotisserie test,” where it is rolled over into various positions to test for leaks that might have occurred during the crash.

Ironically, the Volt did well enough to earn a five-star rating, the best possible.