The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) continues to stand by its decision to give the Chevrolet Volt the title of Top Safety Pick, regardless of a probe by the federal government that examined the post-crash fires.
That said, it doesn’t mean that the Volt is off the hook quite yet. The IIHS says that it has found that this issue can occur when the vehicle has been in a serious crash. According to Russ Rader, a spokesperson for IIHS, this discovery won’t change its ratings for crash testing. Rader went on to say that there were no issues found in the tests on the electric car’s batteries, nor did they find any problems with the area inside which the car’s batteries are contained.
There was a formal investigation ordered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) following fires that resulted in the lithium-ion batteries of two different Volt cars that were involved in test crashes. These fires didn’t occur instantly, but instead ignited a number of days following the crash. That said, General Motors continues to claim that these cars are extremely safe, and for the moment, the IIHS is maintaining their support of that claim.
Rader explained that the NHTSA will perform further investigation into this issue, and if a recall is recommended, then the ratings from the IIHS for the volt will apply only to the cars that have received the recall repairs. He added that the Institute does not send consumers away from vehicles that perform well in crashes, simply due to investigations into a part that is potentially defective.