NHTSA Makes Statement, Opens Investigation Regarding Chevy Volt Fire Risk

By Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari on January 18, 2012

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released a statement announcing their investigation into a potential defect in the Chevrolet Volt, which poses a significant post-crash fire risk, as well as General Motor’s (GM’s) remedy to the defect.

As a safety agency with the task of reducing motor vehicle injuries and fatalities on the nation’s roadways, the NHTSA has begun an investigation, in collaboration with Department of Energy and Department of Defense experts, into a Chevy Volt defect which increases the risk of a vehicle fire after an accident. The investigation, though not completed yet, has come to the preliminary conclusion that both coolant leakage and battery intrusion must occur to create a fire in the Volt after an accident.

To remedy the defect which may cause the referenced post-accident fires, GM has designed a steel reinforcement device. NHTSA crash tests with a Volt retrofitted with the device produced successful results, as the tested Volt did not experience battery intrusion or coolant leakage. Once the NHTSA analysis is complete, it will report its findings and recommendations to the public.

A fire-causing vehicle defect is extremely dangerous. The occupants of a vehicle may survive a motor vehicle accident; however, if a defect causes the vehicle to catch fire after the accident, then the odds of survival significantly decrease. Even if the vehicle occupants survive the initial impact, the likelihood of suffering catastrophic burn injuries is increased.

If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a New Jersey auto accident caused by a manufacturing or design defect, you may be entitled to financial compensation. At Blume Forte, our experienced auto product liability attorneys in New Jersey can examine the details of your claim to determine whether your case may have merit. To discuss your potential claim, call us at (888) 635-5400 for a no-cost consultation.

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