After being crash tested a few weeks ago by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a Chevrolet Volt recently caught fire in an agency parking lot for no obvious reason and apparently the fire started in the battery pack and affected other vehicles parked nearby.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration doesn’t have an explanation for the fire and says that it started in the battery pack. The agency has prompted an investigation into the safety of electric cars and there’s a possibility of the crash test damaging something in the battery pack.
“The Volt is a safe car. We are working cooperatively with NHTSA as it completes its investigation. However, NHTSA has stated that based on available data, there’s no greater risk of fire with a Volt than a traditional gasoline-powered car… We have safety protocols to depower the battery of an electric vehicle after a significant crash”, said the GM chief engineer for electric vehicles, Jim Federico.
The NHTSA will investigate the fire safety of lithium-ion batteries which are used in electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt after another Volt caught fire while charging in a garage in North Carolina for no reason.
Chevrolet says that the batteries used in the Volt had been put through the equivalent of one million miles of testing for safety in water, crush accidents, short circuit conditions and more which lasted for four million hours.