The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a formal
probe into whether General Motors’s Chevy Volts’ batteries
are at risk of catching fire after they are involved in a serious car
crash. While GM has stated that its vehicle is not a fire hazard, the
NHTSA remains committed to continuing its safety defect investigation
until it reaches its own conclusions.
Safety officials began to worry about a possible fire risk after a Volt that was parked in a test facility caught fire, causing damage to other parked autos. That battery had been punctured and its coolant line ruptured during a side-impact collision test in May.
In the last several days, one of the Volt battery packs that was under observation following a crash test did catch fire, while another one that was also crash-tested let out sparks and smoke. Another battery that underwent a crash test several months ago also had burst into flames. (GM claims NHTSA failing to drain one of the batteries that caught fire of energy after crash-testing it, which is a step the automaker would have taken.)
The NHTSA says there have been no Volt-related fires in roadway crashes reported thus far. The Volt is one of 8,000 cars that are plug-in electric cars.
While testing of the Volt hasn’t raised any red flags about other electric autos, the NHTSA does want auto manufacturers to offer more specific data about battery testing for these types of vehicles.
Auto Defects and Car Fires
Any auto that catches fire is dangerous for those in and around the vehicle. It is therefore essential that cars and their parts do not possess any auto defects that raise the risk of a car bursting into flames–especially following a traffic crash.
Couple an auto defect that is a fire hazard with a tank of gasoline and the consequences can prove catastrophic, further exacerbating any serious injuries that may have already been sustained by any victims. Rescue efforts may become hampered, as emergency workers attempt to stay alive while trying to pull the driver and any occupants from the motor vehicle.
If a crash victim is lucky enough to survive the car fire, he or she may have to cope with the excruciating pain that comes with serious burn injuries that can leave the victim seriously disfigured and disabled for life. Recovery can be a very long and costly process.
Our auto products liability law firm represent clients throughout the US that were injured as a result of safety defects that contributed to causing the serious personal injuries and wrongful deaths.
Statement of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration On Formal Safety Defect Investigation of Post-Crash Fire Risk in Chevy Volts, NHTSA, November 25, 2011
More Blog Posts:
Illinois Auto Defect Lawsuit Blames Ford For Truck Fire That Burned House Down, Product Liability Law Blog, September 21, 2011
Auto Defects: Fire Hazards Prompt General Motors and Chrysler to Recall Vehicles, Product Liability Law Blog, June 8, 2010
Ford Recall and GM Chevrolet Fire Incidents Rekindle Fire Hazard Concerns, Product Liability Law Blog, February 13, 2008
Contact one of our auto products liability lawyers . The Gilbert Law Group® is here help our clients recover compensation from negligent car manufacturers and other liable parties. We represent clients throughout the US.