Chevrolet Volt battery fire sparks probe by U.S. regulators

Federal safety regulators are investigating the safety of batteries used to power electric vehicles in light of a Chevrolet Volt’s battery caught fire three weeks after undergoing a routine crash test.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that it was questioning automakers who produce, or plan to produce, battery-powered cars to understand how each manufacturer handles the lithium-ion batteries that powers such cars.

Despite the Chevrolet Volt battery fire incident, both GM and Federal officials say that there is no reason to believe that the Chevrolet Volt is unsafe.

“First and foremost, I want to make this very clear: The Volt is a safe car,” said Jim Federico, GM chief engineer for electric vehicles.

“We are working cooperatively with NHTSA as it completes its investigation,” he continued. “However, NHTSA has stated that based on available data, there’s no greater risk of fire with a Volt than a traditional gas-powered car.”

Despite insistence by GM and federal officials that the Chevrolet Volt is still considered to be safe, GM stock took a bit of a plunge on Friday, falling by as much as 3% after Bloomberg first reported the Chevrolet Volt battery fire news. GM stock ended up down 12 cents a share at the end of trading.

Source: Reuters