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."
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