The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened an investigation into General Motors electric hybrid vehicle, the Chevrolet Volt. The investigation comes after a battery fire consumed three vehicles at their test facility, two weeks after performing side impact and rollover tests. Follow-up tests to simulate the incident resulted in two out of three vehicles resulting in a thermal reaction within the battery. According to the NHTSA there have been no reports of real world crashes resulting in fire.
GM has assured customers the the Chevy Volt’s fire risk after an accident is lower than any standard gas engine vehicles. The company said that the vehicles OnStar safety system notifies the company of any crashes involving a Chevy Volt and a team is dispatched within 48 hours to drain the battery. GM has offered to buy back vehicles or offer loaner cars at the customers request. If the investigation should lead to a recall, over 6,000 Volts could be affected.