Electric

Chevy Investigating Volt Battery Fires

Chevy Investigating Volt Battery Fires

GM has started to contact Volt owners, offering free loaner cars while federal regulators investigate reports of fires associated with damage to the battery in a crash.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration started to look into lithium-ion batteries used in electric and hybrid vehicles after a Chevy Volt caught fire in a storage facility this summer, after it went through a side-impact crash test. The crash text damaged the Volt’s battery and ruptured the coolant line, resulting in an electrical fire even after a significant amount of time had passed.

The NHTSA announced that they are launching a formal defect investigation into Chevy Volt batteries.

“NHTSA is not aware of any roadway crashes that have resulted in battery-related fires in Chevy Volts or other vehicles powered by lithium-ion batteries,” an NHTSA release said. “However, the agency is 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. NHTSA is therefore opening a safety defect investigation of Chevy Volts, which could experience a battery-related fire following a crash. Chevy Volt owners whose vehicles have not been in a serious crash do not have reason for concern.”

Here’s the official statement from the NHTSA on the Volt battery fire issue.

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