Electric Vehicles

NHTSA Deems Chevrolet Volt Safe, Closes Fire Risk Investigation

January 23, 2012

WASHINGTON – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced it has closed its safety investigation into the potential fire risk in Chevrolet Volts that have been involved in a major crash. The agency found “no discernible defect trend” and concluded that General Motors’ newly developed modifications “reduce the potential for battery intrusion resulting from side impacts.”

To view NHTSA’s investigation report, click here

“NHTSA remains unaware of any real-world crashes that have resulted in a battery-related fire involving the Chevy Volt or any other electric vehicle,” the agency said in a released statement. “NHTSA continues to believe that electric vehicles show great promise as a safe and fuel-efficient option for American drivers.”

2012 Chevrolet Volt
2012 Chevrolet Volt

But NHTSA added that it has developed some safety guidelines for electric-powered vehicles to assist emergency response workers, tow truck operators, storage facilities and motorists. These guidelines take into account that electric-powered vehicles have characteristics different than conventional vehicles – characteristics that can call for a different course of action when responding to a crash.

“Based on the available data, 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,” the agency said.

To develop the preliminary guidelines, NHTSA sought the assistance of the National Fire Protection Association, the Department of Energy and others.

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