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Posts Tagged ‘nhtsa volt investigation’

Battery Fire Investigation Closed – But Volt’s Problems May Not Yet be Over

GM CEO to testify before Congress.

by on Jan.23, 2012

A NHTSA investigation into possible problems with the Chevy Volt battery pack has been closed.

The Chevrolet Volt got a clean bill of health, last Friday, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration closing its investigation into potential problems with the plug-in hybrid’s battery pack – but that doesn’t mean General Motors’ problems with the Volt are over, as a Congressional hearing is scheduled to begin on Wednesday.

The Volt controversy stems from a fire that occurred last spring, weeks after one of the battery cars went through a federal crash test.  A second Volt battery pack caught fire after being tested in November.  That triggered an investigation by the NHTSA – as well as hearings by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, California Republican and committee chairman Darryl Issa contending that the government agency initially tried to cover up the original fire.


Meanwhile, GM, noting that there have been no real-world reports of battery-related fires, nonetheless announced on January 5 that it will make a number of small but significant modifications to further reduce the likelihood of problems with the battery pack.


Potential Buyers Steering Clear of Volt as House Schedules Probe

GM reportedly may have fix for fire problem.

by on Dec.07, 2011

The Chevrolet Volt, shown here with its lithium-ion battery pack.

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.”

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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.


GM May Buy Back Chevy Volts from Worried Owners

But despite fire investigation demand for plug-in hybrid rose again in November.

by on Dec.01, 2011

GM CEO Dan Akerson with the Chevy Volt at an early preview. He may have less to celebrate now.

General Motors will buy back a Chevrolet Volt from any owner worried about recent reports of fires following federal crash tests of the plug-in hybrid vehicle.

Nonetheless, demand for the Volt rose again during November, reaching 1,139 for the month and handily outselling its primary rival, the Nissan Leaf. But there appears to be no way that GM will be able to meet its original objective of selling 10,000 Volts this year.

Power Up!

GM will do whatever it takes to ensure the safety of the Chevy battery car, said CEO Dan Akerson during an interview published by the Associated Press, even if that means replacing the current lithium-ion battery pack.  There have been three separate incidents involving the Volt batteries since one caught fire following a May crash test by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


GM Moves Quickly To Quell Controversy Surrounding Chevy Volt Fires

Maker will provide free loans to owners concerned about safety of plug-in hybrid model.

by on Nov.29, 2011

GM wants to salvage the image of the Chevy Volt as NHTSA begins a safety investigation.

General Motors is moving quickly to protect the reputation of the Chevrolet Volt in the wake of a new government investigation looking at possible safety problems involving the maker’s high-profile plug-in hybrid.

In the wake of several fires involving Volt battery packs used in crash tests by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, GM says it will provide loaner vehicles to Volt owners concerned about safety while the investigation gets underway.

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The NHTSA announced this week it was opening a formal investigation into why a Volt caught fire following a NHTSA-run crash test last spring, with an additional Volt battery pack igniting earlier this month after further crash tests.

“The Volt is our pride and joy and we will do all we can to make Volt owners just as proud and happy with it as we are,” GM North America President Mark Reuss said Monday during a news conference.


Feds Step Up Investigation in Wake of New Chevy Volt Fires

New tests raise additional concerns.

by on Nov.28, 2011

NHTSA has now launched a formal investigation after an additional fire in a Chevy Volt battery pack it was crash-testing.

Already concerned about a battery fire that followed the spring crash test of a Chevrolet Volt, federal safety regulators have opened a new investigation as the result of additional fires involving Volt’s lithium-ion batteries.

Company officials have already blamed the initial incident on a failure to follow proper procedures following the crash test by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and they contend the Volt is safe despite the latest fires.  But the new study could create a serious problem for the automaker as it gets ready to push for a six-fold increase in sales of the plug-in hybrid next year.

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In a statement, GM said it has “worked closely” with the NHTSA and wasn’t surprised by the news the agency would launch a formal investigation.  But the maker also declared the volt “is safe and does not present undue risk as part of normal operation or immediately after a severe crash.”