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NHTSA Review Finds No Extra Fire Risk in the Chevy Volt

By Kelly Balamuth on January 27, 2012

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced several months ago that it was looking into safety issues related to the Chevrolet Volt, the auto manufacturer’s highly-touted electric hybrid vehicle, specifically related to an increased risk of fires caused by the battery after a crash. After researching the problem, the NHTSA recently announced that the Volt’s fire risks are no higher than the risks of driving gasoline-powered vehicles.

The investigation began last year, after a side-impact crash test caused a leak in the Volt’s battery-coolant system, resulting in a fire about three weeks after the test took place. Chevrolet engineers have reinforced the coolant system and the battery’s protection, and more recent tests have not shown any of the problems the NHTSA investigated after the first test and fire.

All vehicles pose some risk of catching on fire during or after a crash, according to the NHTSA. Damaged batteries and fuel systems are common causes of post-accident fires, and defective products in these systems can increase the risk of a fire starting without a collision as well. Rescue workers are often trained on safety measures to take at accident scenes, such as draining the battery, which can reduce fire risk.

Car accidents aren’t always caused by distracted drivers. Defective or malfunctioning parts can also cause crashes or other accidents, which can leave drivers and passengers with serious injuries. If you or someone you love has been injured by a defective vehicle part or other product, the experienced Oakland auto defect lawyers at Balamuth Harrington can help. For a free and confidential case evaluation, call our office at 1-888-254-1234 today.

Attorney Kelly Balamuth was profiled in the
September 2013 Issue of Plaintiff Magazine.

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