Chevy Volt safety concerns raised, loan cars to be provided

By Posted 28 Nov 2011, 19:39

Car manufacturers have been making a big push into alternative fuels in recent years with electric vehicles being the main offering available. The Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf have been the two main options available to consumers. Now today as Chevy Volt safety concerns are raised GM are to offer owners loan cars.

According to The Wall Street Journal owners of the Chevrolet Volt will be offered loan cars by GM, while an investigation is carried out on the Volt regarding fires that have started after crash tests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had carried out some crash testing on the Volt that resulted in sparks and fires.

GM believes these were caused by malfunctioning electronics rather than overheating chemicals from within the batteries. Mary Barra GMs product chief stated that engineers were currently working on ways to make the battery case stronger, and added “We’re looking at a handful of promising avenues” and is confident the Volt is safe.

Investigations began last week after two crash tests caused the electric cars battery to spark or catch fire. The NHTSA were doing the tests following an incident last spring where a Volt battery that was damaged in a crash test had caught fire 3 weeks later.

Both sides have said owners of the electric car shouldn’t be too concerned as the fires didn’t start on impact, and started a few days after. The latest tests the NHTSA ruptured the Volts coolant line and damaged the battery compartment, in an attempt to replicate the first accident to highlight the problem. With the first accident the fire started weeks later, but in the latest ones it started in a matter of days.

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