Did The NHTSA Suppress Chevy Volt Safety Problems?

Remember a year ago when there were reports, (I think since determined to be unfounded) of bugs in Toyota’s software, allegedly causing unintended acceleration? The Obama regime and NHTSA were very quick to jump on it, make public press-releases, etc. All making Toyota look bad and costing them sales.

[Update: 12.10.11, see the video: Chevy Volt problems may have been deferred by NHTSA to protect “fragility of Volt sales” – FOIA demands launched]

But remember, Toyota is a direct competitor to Government Motors (GM).

[Update: 12.10.11, a bit more, on the contrasting reactions]

Now there are reports that the Chevy (GM) Volt may have some problems, possible even resulting in batteries catching fire. Does the NHTSA jump right into the mix? Not exactly. I wonder if foot-dragging when politically expedient is part of their mission statement.

This is a perverse set if incentives.

Chevrolet Volt Battery Issues Growing, Safety Findings May Have Been Suppressed – AutoGuide.com News: Following on from the announcement that GM is looking at redesigning the Chevrolet Volt’s lithium-ion battery system in the wake of several highly publicized fires resulting from test crashes, comes further news that both the automaker and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration delayed disclosure of their original findings by months.

Apparently, way back in June, General Motors heard about a Volt fire that happened three weeks after said vehicle was crash tested, yet it wasn’t until November that the company, or NHTSA disclosed there was a potential problem, urging both dealers and customers to drain the battery pack immediately following an accident.

As a result the public relations nightmare surrounding Chevy’s halo vehicle appears to be deepening, though a good deal of the blame in this case also rests with NHTSA.

Joan Claybrook, a former adminstrator at NHTSA believes part of the reason for the delay was the “fragility of Volt sales.” Yet she also believes that “NHTSA could have put out a consumer alert, not to tell them [customers] for six months makes no sense to me.”

Related links:
NHTSA-NASA study of Toyota vehicles finds no electronic causes of unintended acceleration
Toyota Statement in Response to NHTSA/NASA Study
The Ugly Underbelly of The Chevy Volt
Volt fires possibly caused be welded parts near the battery pack – SlashGear

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VRZZHXSA6RC53RYJKWILB3PBBI Vutz Ledner

    Gee, no conflict of interest here. No, none at all.

    Don’t you feel all warm, knowing that the NHTSA is following in the TSA’s footsteps of bringing you just the government you always wanted?

    ..And fuzzy!

    Warm… and fuzzy.