Chevrolet Volt Comes Under Scrutiny after Lithium-Ion Battery Fire

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What started as a single incident has quickly become the subject of media attention as General Motors Co.’s (GM) hybrid motor vehicle, the Chevrolet Volt, has come under scrutiny for its safety. On May 12th of this year, a Chevrolet Volt caught fire while parked at a Wisconsin testing center for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) three weeks after a crash test. The fire was found to have started because of the battery. Since then many tests have been conducted by NHTSA and GM concerning the safety of the vehicle.

While several tests since the original incident failed to produce the same result, more recent tests of the Volt’s lithium-ion battery have resulted in fires and sparks from the battery pack, according to Recently, GM has announced that it will give Volt owners a free loaner car while the motor vehicle’s battery is being tested and will consider a manufacturer buyback for owners that feel unsafe operating the vehicle.

While the Volt is scrutinized for its battery, an auto part central to its design as a hybrid electric car, questions about other electric vehicles have arisen. Although no dangers have been detected with other hybrid electric cars and NHTSA has not yet determined what caused the Volt’s lithium-ion battery to catch fire, testing on the battery will continue.

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Posted Date: 
Wednesday, February 18, 2015