GM Volt e-car battery safe, say feds
No design flaws in cooling system
General Motors' Chevy Volt e-car does not sport a defective design, the US' National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has judged.
This week the Administration closed its formal probe, launched in November 2011, into potential problems with the Volt's battery cooling kit.
Past test prangs had exposed the possibility that a crash could crack the system, leading to an increased risk of the battery overheating, potentially causing the vehicle to catch fire.
However, this week the agency ruled that "no discernible defect trend exists and that the vehicle modifications recently developed by General Motors reduce the potential for battery intrusion resulting from side impacts".
The NHTSA re-iterated its previous comment that it knows of no incidence in the real world in which an e-car from any manufacturer has crashed and then or later experienced an incendiary incident. The Volts which did catch fire did so after very specific impact tests carried out by the NHTSA.
The Volt will go on sale in the UK in March as the Vauxhall Ampera. ®
Maybe you don't fireproof your car after a crash, but
I'll bet lots of people have their car checked over by somebody like a mechanic after they've had a hard crash.
If it's hard enough to crack the battery, it's probably hard enough to damage the fuel tank in a conventional car, and if you did that and then tried to sue the manufacturer when your car burst into flames a few weeks later, you'd be laughed out of court.
And the original fire, if I recall correctly, happened three weeks after the crash. That makes it sound like a problem that could've been safely handled if it had been known. The tech seems extremely safe overall to me, we need to run more tests to figure out all the exceptional cases and how to deal with them, but that's normal and acceptable if the fire happens so long after the crash that there's time to call in an expert.
We must hate GM
Yes, we should only bail out places like Afghanistan or Iraq, not our own country