Feds clears Volt on electric vehicle battery safety issue

Feds clears Volt on electric vehicle battery safety issue

Summary: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issues statement saying electric vehicles pose no greater risk of fire than conventional automobiles.

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TOPICS: Hardware
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Over the weekend, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) uploaded a whole bunch of research files and videos to its Web site that, in effect, signaled the close of its investigation into possible battery safety problems with the Chevrolet Volt.

The investigation, which became public late last fall around Thanksgiving, was launched after crash tests resulted later in some fires related to the Volt's battery housing. Chevrolet, while maintaining the reliability of its technology, took the unusual step of announcing what was in effect a voluntary recall and design modification earlier this year.

In its press release about the close of the investigation, the NHSTA said the investigation "concluded that no discernible defect trend exists and that the vehicle modifications recently developed by General Motors reduce the potential for battery intrusion resulting from side impacts."

The agency also went out of its way to state that it doesn't believe electric vehicles are any more or less dangerous than conventional vehicles. But the lack of real-world crash data led it to launch its investigation two months ago. It said: "NHTSA does not believe that Chevy Volts or other electric vehicles pose a greater risk of fire than gasoline-powered vehicles. Generally, all vehicles have some risk of fire in the event of a serious crash. However, electric vehicles have specific attributes that should be made clear to consumers, the emergency response community and tow truck operators and storage facilities."

Point duly noted.

Related stories:

GM moves to address electric vehicle battery safety concerns

Chevy Volt fires have some asking: Are electric vehicle batteries safe?

Topic: Hardware

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4 comments
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  • Winston tastes good

    Your Ministry of Truth reminds you that there are no problems with the cars from Government Motors. There have never been any problems with the cars from Government Motors.
    Robert Hahn
    • RE: Feds clears Volt on electric vehicle battery safety issue

      @Robert Hahn
      Your sarcastic points well taken. However, consider that if the "Free Enterprise" Motors were left on their own, a million people would be out of work...
      prof123
      • Baloney

        Why? Why would they be out of work? GM was in no danger of liquidation. Bankruptcy yes, but they went through bankruptcy anyway. Lots of companies go through bankruptcy and come out the other side.

        The difference is, bankruptcy is a well-defined legal proceeding with decades of case law so that everyone knows what the rules are. What happened instead is that the Crook-in-Chief seized the assets and handed them to his buddies in the UAW without so much as a nod toward what the law was.

        You probably don't know that, first because it's complicated, and second because most people in the press were trying on purpose to hide it from the public.
        Robert Hahn
  • RE: Feds clears Volt on electric vehicle battery safety issue

    NHTSA stupidity and not following the manufacturers guidelines about disconnecting and discharging the batteries in the event of a crash doesn't make a vehicle unsafe...

    Given that the fire started several weeks after the accident, because the accident had taken place and that they hadn't safely discharged the batteries sounds like poor quality control in the NHTSA labs, as opposed to a safety concern with the vehicle.

    The same safety concerns should be taken into account, when dealing with a petrol engine, if the tank is damaged in the crash, but doesn't catch fire, the fuel should be siphoned off and the wreck made safe, before it is stored...

    Shock, gasp, horror, damaged fuel tanks can be dangerous if not properly handled, who'd a thunk it?
    wright_is