Fire Risk From Chevy Volt Car Batteries
Written By: Rheingold, Valet, Rheingold, Ruffo & Giuffra LLP
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) just announced that their crash tests revealed that GM's Chevy Volts catch on fire after crashes due to the battery. This results from plastic casing cracks allowing coolant to be released and ignite.
The concern is primarily due to the hidden nature of the cracked plastic which does not result in an immediate fire. Days or weeks later, the leaking fluid short circuits a n electrical connection and leads to a fire. While a GM representative has proudly stated that new steel plates now make the car safer, there has been no corporate explanation as to why the manufacturer failed to do the very simple tests which NHTSA does. Apparently, GM is now doing crash tests to see how the fix performs.
NHTSA was very involved in the Toyota sudden acceleration cases, litigation which we are fighting on both state and federal fronts. Our firm investigates many car and truck crashes each year. One of our first actions is to obtain and safely preserve the vehicle. We send out industry-trained experts to inspect the vehicle for manufacturing defects before evidence is lost. We have had good appellate success in these very difficult cases.