A House Oversight Subcommittee looked into the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NSTA) handling of fires related to the testing of Chevy Volt electric vehicle. Some members of the subcommittee questioned whether the NHTSA knew about potential safety issues and what actions the agency took about them.
On May 12, 2011, a Chevrolet Volt, an electric vehicle manufactured by General Motors, was subjected to a side pole impact crash test under laboratory conditions at a facility in Wisconsin. Three weeks later, that vehicle caught fire while in storage. A subsequent investigation determined that the fire was caused by the Volt’s lithium-ion battery system.
However, an NSTA investigation concluded last week that the Volt and other electric vehicles do not pose a greater fire risk than gasoline-powered vehicles.