House Panel Challenges Government Response on Volt

By FREDERIC J. FROMMER | January 26, 2012

A Republican-led House committee is challenging the Obama administration’s investigation into Chevy Volt batteries that caught fire last year.

A staff report by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform questions whether the government’s partial ownership of General Motors Co. created a conflict of interest for the administration. The report, obtained by The Associated Press, also accuses government safety regulators of being unprepared to respond to car battery risks.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began studying the Volt last June after fires broke out in cars after they were crashed as part of safety testing. NHTSA opened an official investigation into the vehicle on Nov. 25, and the government ended its investigation last week.

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