NHTSA: Chevy Volt has no safety defect

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Jan. 23, 2012—The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) last week closed its safety defect investigation regarding potential fire risks in Chevy Volts that have been involved in a serious crash.

The NHTSA’s investigation, which opened Nov. 25, 2011, concluded there is no discernible defect trend that exists within Chevy Volts, and that vehicle modifications recently developed by General Motors reduce the potential for battery intrusion resulting from side impacts.

Based on data from the NHTSA’s investigation, the organization said Chevy Volts do not pose a greater risk of fires than gasoline-powered vehicles. All vehicles have some risk of fire in the event of a serious crash.

The NHTSA said it is unaware of any real-world crashes that have resulted in a battery-related fire involving the Chevy Volt or any other electric vehicle. Electric vehicles show great promise as a safe and fuel-efficient option for American drivers, the NHTSA said.

But electric vehicles have specific attributes that should be made clear to consumers, the emergency response community, tow truck operators and storage facilities, the NHTSA said. That caused the NHTSA to develop interim guidance information to increase awareness and identify appropriate safety measures for those groups. The guidance information—which the NHTSA developed with assistance from the National Fire Protection Association and Department of Energy—will help inform those groups about electric vehicle safety.

For more information, visit SaferCar.gov or nhtsa.gov.

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