Earlier this week, we reported that General Motors would buy back Volts from car owners who fear that their hybrid car might catch fire. Despite these concerns, the 2012 Chevrolet Volt retained its five-star overall safety rating from the federal government. Additionally, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety continues to list the Volt as a Top Safety Pick, which means it earned the highest possible score in all IIHS tests.
Next month, a House panel hearing will be held on the Volt, as well as the Obama administration’s investigation into electric vehicle fire risks. However, The Detroit News reports that Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood believes the Volt is safe to drive. Additionally, LaHood “denied that the government withheld news of a fire in a crash-test vehicle to protect Detroit-based General Motors Co.”
Although the government is looking into the post-crash fires, Volt owners appear reluctant to sell their cars back to GM. CNET writes, “It's going to take more than a couple of battery fires to shake the confidence of most current Volt owners – so far only 24 people have taken General Motors up on its offer to buy back their extended range electric vehicles.”
That number may not increase substantially since the Volt retained it excellent safety ratings. Edmunds says, “Consumers rely on the government safety ratings as they make shopping decisions, and many consider it the gold standard.”
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