One more selling point for Chevy Volt; batteries catch fire

It happened after a crash test, but really - the lemony Edsel is having enormous problems selling on Chevy lots and this won't help any.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it does not believe the Volt and other electric vehicles are at greater risk for fire than those with gasoline-powered engines, but said it has asked automakers for information on lithium-ion batteries and recommendations for minimizing fire risk.

GM and other automakers said they were confident in the technology, which is being rolled out in current electric cars and the next wave of hybrid vehicles. Toyota Motor Corp's Prius, which dominates the hybrid market, is powered by older nickel metal hydride battery technology.

The crash test for the Volt, which carries a 400-pound lithium ion battery pack, was conducted last May at a facility in Wisconsin, NHTSA said.

The fire did not break out until more than three weeks after the side-impact crash test, and the reason for the fire has not been determined, the agency said.

GM said it was not aware of any other Volt fires. A senior NHTSA official said the agency has received no consumer complaints about fires involving GM or other electric cars.

Of course there wouldn't be any other complaints; the Volt has been such a spectacular failure that only a few thousand vehicles are on the road.

I'm sure GM can fix this problem quickly. If they don't, a new word for failure will enter the lexicon of auto terms; "Man, that car is a real Volt."

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