WASHINGTON (AP) — New fires involving the lithium-ion batteries in General Motors Co.’s Chevrolet Volt have prompted an investigation to assess the risk of fire in the electric car after a serious crash, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Friday. One Volt battery pack that was being closely monitored following a government crash test caught fire Thursday, the safety administration said in a statement. Another recently crash-tested battery emitted smoke and sparks, the statement said.

GM, which was informed of the investigation on Friday, said in a statement that the Volt “is safe and does not present undue risk as part of normal operation or immediately after a severe crash.” The latest fires are in addition to a battery fire in a crash-tested Volt six months ago. NHTSA learned of a possible fire risk involving damaged Volt batteries when a fire erupted in a Volt that was being stored in a parking lot of a test facility in Burlington, Wis. The fire was severe enough to cause several other vehicles parked nearby to catch fire as well.

The car had been subjected to a side-impact crash test more than three weeks earlier, on May 12, during which the battery was punctured and its coolant line ruptured. Last week’s tests of three battery packs were designed to replicate the May test. In that test, the Volt was subjected to a simulated side-impact collision into a narrow object like a tree or pole followed by a rollover, the agency said.

The first battery tested last week didn’t catch fire. But a battery test on Nov. 17 initially experienced a temporary temperature increase, and on Thursday caught fire while being monitored. Another battery tested on Nov. 18, which was rotated 180 degrees within hours after the test, began to smoke and emit sparks shortly after the rotation.

Some people think being a firefighter is pretty simple stuff. After all you just squirt the water on the fire and that’s that. If only. The truth is we live in a rapidly changing society where nothing stays as it is for long any more. Take this story about “green” cars. The Chevy Volt is just the latest attempt by the liberals in government to have us all buy into their global warming / climate change scheme. Problem is they catch fire when you crash them and generally perform dismally compared to their internal combustion powered counterparts. Plus they are more expensive and leave behind millions of tons of batteries that will have to be recycled.

As a firefighter they present a whole different set of problems for me and my crew, a whole new body of knowledge that must be trained up on and mastered. First they are generally made of plastic. That means more serious injuries when they wreck. And second (this is a biggie) they are ELECTRIC. That means we can’t put water on them very easily. So when your trapped in your Volt or Prius after a wreck and it’s melting around you I have to figure out a way to put out the fire without ELECTROCUTING you or my guys. Pretty simple stuff.

Since there is no standard design each electric car is an unknown quantity. You have to be very careful cutting into them due to energized electrical cables that could also electrocute you or a trapped victim. Since the Nutter administration has DECIMATED the fire departments budget there is no money for training anymore. That means we won’t have the training needed to deal with this hazard any time soon. Now if President Obama gets his wish to have 1 MILLION electric cars on the road by 2015 we are in serious trouble and the public’s at great risk.

This isn’t the only example of “green” technology being fielded without consideration of the safety hazards involved. Solar panels are another serious hazard. So much so that we will not operate on roofs with them installed. There is simply no way to de-energize them in an emergency and again there is a substantial risk of electrocution.

At the heart of this issue is an overreaching government meddling in the private sector in order to implement its political / social agenda. By propping up electric cars that no one wants with tax payer dollars, by subsidizing solar panel companies that can’t turn a profit, by restricting fossil fuel production the left is coddling countries that want to see us destroyed, holding up real American innovation, delaying technology that actually works from being perfected and making the world even more unsafe for firefighters.

Hope / Change. Save the whales.



  1. Old NFO says:

    I point to consider, the gas given off is highly toxic too! Go to this site and look at the health effects…

  2. The Working Class Conservative says:

    The latest and the Biggest. What a lie this car is

  3. So, by your standards, we should have gotten rid of the Ford F-150 about 30+ years ago right?

    No, that why they do these test and that’s why there are engineers in this world.

    • No, not at all. This is a PRODUCTION VEHICLE that no one wants and is clearly not ready for prime time. There is NO MARKET demand for electric cars. Not now and not in the near future. Volts are being forced on the consumer by the government not the consumer demands. They have to be heavily subsidized in order to be affordable and so far their biggest client is -you guessed the Obama administration.
      The F-150 is in HIGH DEMAND by the consumer and is in fact a staple of American life. The internal combustion engine is quite simply a better mouse trap. Until it isn’t Volts and other electric experiments will continue to fail like Solyndra.

      • Why did you change the subject? Your original argument was that the Volt was a safety hazard.

        The F-150 WAS unsafe too with it’s exploding gas tanks in side collisions. Once again, right-wingers only trying to use arguments when it fits their agenda.

    • Hold on- you changed the subject. My post was about two things. First the safety issues that someone in my profession faces that average people don’t have any idea about, such as electric “eco” technology. Second it was to highlight that “green” technology and how many people take for granted that it is perfected when the opposite is really the case.
      But since so called “green” technology is part of the lefts political agenda and not actually a market driven solution, it is being forced upon consumers and the market artificially and before it is proven or safe.
      No one I know wants a battery powered car when it’s twenty degrees around here. Not until they are perfected, or at least until they can stop bursting into flames. Judging by how many houses have solar panels on them there is no demand for them either (unless you want to freeze all winter long when it’s overcast for three months).
      Your F-150 analogy is stupid and flawed (as usual). Pick up trucks and the INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE were already PROVEN technology when the F-150 had that problem. A design flaw made by ENGINEERS that was easily corrected. Pick up trucks aren’t fatally flawed designs and they have a substantial market share thanks to CONSUMERS not the government.

  4. Ingineer66 says:

    Nothing to see here, keep moving.

  5. Bob G. says:

    The ONE thing ALL the loons don’t seem to figure out with these “so-called” GREEN vehicles…they ALL STILL RUN on FOSSIL FUELS (from all the COAL plants that supply the ELECTRICITY that comes from all those outlets…lol.

    Great post.

    Roll safe.

  6. Dustoff says:

    What crackes me up about the Volt. It’s has to run on Premium gas.
    Has anyone noticed the price of that gas. It’s 4 bucks in WA state and much higher in CA.

  7. Spud says:

    The fact that people buy hundreds of thousands of Priuses a year (over a million on US roads right now – the Prius outsells all Chevy car models put together year in, year out) seems to have slipped your pea brain.

    It’s not that people don’t want EV’s, it’s that people don’t want crappy products built by GM. And GM built PLENTY of crappy products without any help from the “the government” you’re so stupidly scared of. That’s why that bad-old-government had to save their asses.

    AND the Volt was headed to production LONG LONG LONG before the government had anything to do with GM, you NITWIT. Car planning cycles take 5-7 years and the Volt project had been around since 2006.

    Not that anyone expects a moron like you to bother with facts.

    • The Volt sucks and is a failure by any standard. Obama has hijacked (nationalized) the economy and it too is failing. Trillions in debt yet I have a pea brain. 1 word sums it up- Solyndra. Thanks for playing.

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