The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has concluded its investigation into the Chevrolet Volt. In its statement, the agency stated that it "does not believe that Chevy Volts or other electric vehicles pose a greater risk of fire than gasoline-powered vehicles." The investigation was prompted after a Volt undergoing crash testing caught on fire after the test.
General Motors has released its own statement on NHTSA's findings, and claims that the engineering enhancements announced earlier this month should provide the necessary protection for the battery pack to minimize the risk of fire in the days and weeks after a severe crash.
GM also pointed out the Volt's Top Safety Pick rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, an industry trade association and independent safety testing lab, which has slightly different testing criteria than NHTSA.
NHTSA said in its statement that it "continues to believe that electric vehicles show great promise as a safe and fuel-efficient option for American drivers. However, due to the unique nature of plug-in electric vehicles, the agency recommends educating consumers, emergency first-responders, and tow truck operators on the differences to ensure user safety. NHTSA is working with the National Fire Protection Association, the Department of Energy and other agencies and organizations to identify appropriate safety measures and recommendations for those groups.
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, General Motors