(WASHINGTON) -- The head of General Motors will appear before a Congressional Committee on Wednesday to answer questions regarding the safety of the new Chevy Volt following a recent investigation into its batteries catching fire.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began conducting tests on the all-electric car last June after fires broke out three weeks after the agency ran crash tests on the vehicle. On Nov. 25, the NHTSA opened an investigation to examine the post-crash fire risk.
Last Friday, the agency wrapped up its investigation and claimed that despite the disturbing incidents, "no discernible [safety] defect trend exists and that the vehicle modifications recently developed by General Motors reduce the potential for battery intrusion resulting from side impacts."
The NHTSA further concluded that it, "does not believe that Chevy Volts or other electric vehicles pose a greater risk of fire than gasoline-powered vehicles."
However, Republican critics in Congress question the agency's judgment. They suspect a conflict of interest may be in play, considering the government still owns part of GM, and the Obama Administration is heavily invested -- literally and figuratively -- to show the Volt as a success, despite dismal sales and safety concerns.
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