Three weeks after undergoing a crash test, a Chevy Volt caught fire. The car's battery was determined as the cause of the fire
, though GM said its protocols for deactivating the battery following a crash would have prevented it. Either way, the National Highway Traffic Safety Association is now on the case
. They're planning additional testing of the batteries, though they were quick to say, "Based on the available data, N.H.T.S.A. does not believe the Volt or other electric vehicles are at a greater risk of fire than gasoline-powered vehicles. In fact, all vehicles — both electric and gasoline-powered — have some risk of fire in the event of a serious crash." According to the president of an engineering firm, "If a lithium battery is pierced by steel, a chemical reaction will take place that starts raising the temperature and can result in a fire... If the piercing is small, that reaction can take days or weeks to occur."