Monday, November 28, 2011


Back in May, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) put a Volt through standard side-impact crash testing, and in doing so, "the vehicle's battery was damaged and the coolant line was ruptured." The big issue? The car went up in flames multiple weeks later, seemingly as direct result. That event prompted the NHTSA to further study the safety of the batts in the period after a crash, which culminated in more tests performed just over a week ago to find out if they would prove volatile again -- simply put, they did. The group recently explained that it's "concerned that damage to the Volt's batteries as part of three tests that are explicitly designed to replicate real-world crash scenarios have resulted in fire."

Because of this development, the NHTSA (with assistance from a bunch of other letter named government departments and GM itself) has officially launched a formal investigation into the Volt to ensure that its current battery implementation isn't a safety defect. Despite the announcement, the agency notes that of all the Volts currently zipping along the streets, there has yet to be a to be a similar incident out on the open road. The NHTSA further clarified that there's not yet any reason for current owners to worry, so long as they haven't been in an accident with their vehicle. Overall, GM describes the whole investigation as "procedural" at this point, stating that both GM has been working with the NHTSA for over six months on a "broader program designed to induce battery failure after extreme situations."

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