The NHTSA has closed the investigation into the Chevrolet Volt fire cases.
Federal safety regulators have closed their investigation into the Chevrolet Volt
fires cases. The investigation lasted a few months with the cooperation from GM engineers. The closure came following a fix that was developed by GM and will be applied to all Volts. The investigation began following two cases in which crash test cars caught fire; one just a few days after the test and a few weeks later in another. The main concern was that battery integrity was damaged during an accident.
In order improve the battery protection during a side crash, GM engineers devised a fix to strengthen the car's structure and added a sensor to the battery coolant reservoir. NHTSA approved of this enhancement and closed the case. However the case is not closed just yet and will keep on haunting GM and the Obama administration during the forthcoming election season. Dan Akerson, GM chairman and CEO, testified this past week before a congressional committee that discussed the Volt case, which he described as a "political punching bag."
Akerson denied any discussions between the White House and GM concerning the Volt. Many conservatives view the continued implementation of the Volt project as a waste of taxpayers' money since the American treasury still holds a large package of GM stocks. Under the new GM management, which was recruited by the administration during the bailout, the company kept on investing in development, manufacturing and sales of the Volt. It is assumed, however, that even with a $40,000 base price, the project is still in the red. In doing so, the company is cooperating with the administration, who has set a target fuel consumption level of 54.5 mpg by 2025.