Bloomberg News

GM Volt Fires to Be Examined in January by U.S. House Panel

December 09, 2011

(Updates with LaHood comments starting in fifth paragraph.)

Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) -- A U.S. House subcommittee will hold a hearing into reports of General Motors Co.’s Chevrolet Volt catching fire, a spokesman for Representative Darrell Issa said.

The regulatory affairs subcommittee, led by Representative Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican, will schedule a hearing for late January, Jeffrey Solsby, a spokesman for the Oversight and Government Reform Committee led by Issa, said today in an e- mail.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been investigating three fires earlier this year in the Volt’s battery pack following separate collision tests. GM has said it is working with NHTSA to find the cause and determine if a fix is needed.

Greg Martin, a GM spokesman, said the company hasn’t been notified of the hearing and declined to comment in an e-mail.

The Volt “is safe to drive,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told reporters on Capitol Hill today.

LaHood said the department didn’t withhold information about the battery fires after U.S. crash tests. The department announced a safety investigation of the Volt Nov. 25.

“We’re not in the business of protecting the automobile industry,” LaHood said. “We’re in the business of making sure the cars are safe. That’s why we’re doing the investigation of the Volt.”

The Detroit News reported the planned House hearing earlier today via a Twitter account.

--With assistance from Craig Trudell in Southfield, Michigan. Editors: Steve Geimann, Larry Liebert

To contact the reporters on this story: Jeff Plungis in Washington at jplungis@bloomberg.net; Lisa Caruso in Washington at lcaruso7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bernard Kohn at bkohn2@bloomberg.net


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