House Committee to Hold Chevy Volt Safety Hearing on January 25

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a formal hearing to discuss and to investigate the potential fire risks associated with the extensively damaged Chevrolet Volts. Darrell Issa, R-CA, chairman of the committee, told members of the House that the hearing—titled “Volt Vehicle Fire: What did NHTSA know and when did they know it?”—will be held on January 25.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator David Strickland claims that the White House was informed of the first crash-test related Chevy Volt fire in September, 2011. White House officials say they didn’t request that the NHTSA keep the information under wraps, but it wasn’t until Bloomberg News broke the story in November when the NHTSA decided to publicly disclose its findings.

In late November, the NHTSA opened a formal defect investigation in the Chevy Volt. In January, General Motors detailed modifications designed to prevent the Volt from catching fire following a severe impact.

Republicans have, time and again, asked General Motors and the NHTSA to answer questions regarding the delayed disclosure of possible fires in crash-tested Volts. Ali Ahmad, a spokesman for Issa, stated last Friday that the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will demand that the NHTSA turn over all records related to the safety of the Volt:

“NHTSA has stalled on responding to the committee’s inquiry for six weeks and inexplicably refused to provide any documents. The committee expects full compliance with its request and will consider compulsory methods if NHTSA does not immediately change its position.”

General Motors CEO Dan Akerson has agreed to deliver his first testimony before Congress since taking over the company, and will be joined by NHTSA administrator Strickland.


  • Peter Martin

    Safety is one off the main point to be consider while thinking of to buy the car of particular make and model. If a particular automotive company want to be popular in the automotive market then it’s model must be safe to drive and easy to maintain.

  • James Davis

    Since the head of the oversight committee is a republican and the CEO of GM is a republican, you are not going to learn anything new from this committee. GM’s ignoring of safety rules, as if they had never built a car before, put a lot of peoples lives in danger. I would be very cautious in charging the Volt in my garage while my family slept in the house at night since the plug-in on the Volt has a habit of melting and could cause a spark.

  • Old Grumpy

    This story reminds me of the movie Tucker. Where new technology is brought out and the other competitors kill it! With a ICE there are several thoundsand fires each year!Where is the N.H.T.S.A. on that? But if we take a Volt and crash it (Not head on or from the rear But a side impact ) one time. And then we don’t discharge the battery and we let it sit in a lot for 3 days we might have a fire!! I think this is just another reason to kill the Hybrid cars and electric vehicles. I honestly don’t trust the Gov. and would not be a bit surprised if some oil company asked for this investigation! This is another waste of money and time. If G.M. would or could make a Volt in the $20,000 to $30,000 price range they would not be able to keep up with the #’s needed to sell. I really feel that there are very few people who bought the Prius for it looks and slick styling. They wanted the fuel economy and I feel if G.M. were to bring the price of the Volt down a lot more people would be interested! I hopeing that gas prices hit $5.00 per gallon this year then lets see what happens!

  • usbseawolf2000

    The issue isnt about the fire. It is about the 5 month delay from the first fire to when it became public. The fire first broke out in June 2011. The news leaked in Nov.

    By then, GM came up with a new procedure to drain the battery. It took another two months to come up with a solution to pass the crash test without fire. The solution did not fix the root cause (coolant shorting out electronic inside battery). GM chose not to laminate / seal the electronic.

  • MrEnergyCzar

    Those Republicans need to be careful this week as this may backfire on them. Most people know by now the battery thing was political hype and they may look pretty foolish indirectly bashing an American made car….

    MrEnergyCzar

  • Baltimore Prius Owner

    @ Old Grumpy – I am with you 100%!!!! We own two Priuses and they are the best purchases we ever made. Actually, I don’t think they’re ugly. All this coming from a previously dyed-in-the-wool Chevrolet man! I also find it amazing how any car, particularly the Volt, can be named a ‘Car of the Year’ BEFORE the general public can purchase one. Who are the rocket scientists who developed that strategy?

    Meanwhile, the Prius continues its dominance in the market.

  • Duude

    “NHTSA has stalled on responding to the committee’s inquiry for six weeks and inexplicably refused to provide any documents.”

    Wow! I’m so shocked.

  • Danny

    If Darrell Issa wants to help cover up for a fellow Republican, he’s doing a horrible job of it. He’s the one that called for the hearing.

  • Charles

    Darrell Issa wanted another way to attack the Obama administration. Obama is seen as a champion of the Volt and GM bailout (no need for a reality check about when the bailout began and who supported at that time or that it saved a bunch of jobs at GM and the whole auto supply chain) so anything that makes the Volt and GM look bad is good for the GOP in their warped view of the world.

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