NHTSA: Chevy Volt Batteries Safe image

After months of investigation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has declared General Motor’s Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle is safe after concerns over the car’s lithium battery.

The safety regulators began studying the Volt electric vehicle last June after a fire broke out in one of the cars three weeks after it was crashed as part of safety testing.

GM and federal safety officials say they believe the fires were caused by coolant leaking from damaged plastic casing around the batteries after side-impact collisions. The coolant caused an electrical short, which sparked battery fires seven days to three weeks after the crashes.

The agency said it “remains unaware of any real-world crashes that have resulted in a battery-related fire involving the Chevy Volt or any other electric vehicle. NHTSA continues to believe that electric vehicles show great promise as a safe and fuel-efficient option for American drivers.”

“GM is proud of the technological innovation the Volt represents,” Greg Martin, a GM spokesman, said today in an statement.

“We appreciate the confidence our Volt customers continued to provide during the investigation. Our overriding commitment will always be to provide our customers with the best ownership experience and peace of mind in the industry and we’re focused on delivering that every day. “

No Chevy Volt owners have reported crash fires to the NHTSA, the agency said Friday. The agency also established interim guidelines to “increase awareness and identify appropriate safety measures.”