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Report: Chevy Volt battery catches fire at NHTSA

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    Report: Chevy Volt battery catches fire at NHTSA

    Filed under: Sedan, Safety, Chevrolet, GM, Electric

    As a tipster put it: "Crap."

    Even though there is plenty of evidence that the Chevy Volt is a safe car (one just protected its occupants in a recent crash with a bus), there are now new and seemingly legitimate worries about the safety of the 16-kWh battery pack after a crash. Bloomberg reports that a Volt that was parked at a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration test center recently caught fire, burning nearby vehicles. The Volt had been put through a side-impact crash test three weeks prior and an official told Bloomberg that investigators determined the battery was indeed the source of the fire. Apparently, NHTSA reps are talking with "all automakers" with lithium-ion vehicle for sale (or coming soon) about the safety of their battery packs.

    On the one hand, this is bad news for people who already have worries about the safety of plug-in vehicle. On the other hand, a crashed car, whether powered by gasoline or lithium, isn't exactly a safe item. Given that this fire follows a second garage fire involving a Volt (whose cause has not yet been determined), we expect a spike of "plug-in cars are bad" news soon. Whether this is warranted or not is another question. The NHTSA's issued a statement to Bloomberg that said:
    Based on the available data, NHTSA does not believe the Volt or other electric vehicles are at a greater risk of fire than gasoline-powered vehicles. In fact, all vehicles - both electric and gasoline-powered - have some risk of fire in the event of a serious crash.
    Indeed. We'll have more on this as details are released.Chevy Volt battery catches fire at NHTSA originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 11 Nov 2011 13:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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    I said in search of my botni, not in search of my bhootni. Please stop sending me PMs.