The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it had investigated a fire that occurred this spring, after the Volt extended-range electric car underwent a 20 mile-per-hour, side-impact test for its five-star crash safety rating. The crash punctured the Volt’s lithium-ion battery, and after more than three weeks of sitting outside, the vehicle and several cars around it caught fire. No one was hurt.
General Motors believes the fire occurred because NHTSA did not drain the energy from the Volt’s battery following the crash, which is a safety step the automaker recommends, GM spokesman Rob Peterson said. NHTSA had not been told of the safety protocol, Peterson said.