Despite NHTSA Investigation, Chevrolet Volt Still Safe Say Owners, IIHS

By Joel Arellano | December 06, 2011
The electric car market got some formidable backing this week when the non-profit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety announced it had no plans to alter its safety rating on the Chevrolet Volt, which is currently under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over its lithium-ion batteries. Specifically, the NHTSA is investigating the Volt's battery pack which, under very specific conditions, has been shown to catch on fire. The IIHS has discovered no such issues in its tests, which involve driver and passenger safety in various crashes as well as roof strength. Says IIHS spokesperson Russ Rader, "If we had found that the battery pack had been damaged or certainly if we had subsequent concerns about fire risk -- that would have raised red flags." The IIHS pronouncement backs Chevrolet Volt owners' current support of their electric vehicle hybrid, which recently topped the Dodge Challenger and Porsche 911 in the latest Consumer Reports' Owner Satisfaction survey. Also, few owners have opted for GM to buy back their vehicles, though the automaker says there have been a "couple dozen." GM also offers to provide loaner vehicles to Volt owners as the NHTSA continues its investigation, which can take up to half a year. "We continue to find Volt owners by and large some of the most intensely loyal customers in the industry," GM spokesperson Greg Martin said in a statement.'s take: General Motors is pulling out all stops to satisfying it Volt owners. What do you think of the IIHS' statement? Do you support it? How do you feel about Chevy Volt owners' staunch backing of their EVs? Let us know in the comments below. Source: Automotive News (subscription required), Detroit News, General Motors/Chevrolet