GOP: Obama Hid Volt Fires
They say NHTSA delayed announcing investigation
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2012 11:17 AM CST
In this Jan. 26, 2010 file photo, the Chevy Volt appears on display at the Washington Auto Show, in Washington.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

(Newser) – Congressional Republicans intend to accuse the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of purposely delaying an announcement about the Chevy Volt's battery fire troubles because President Obama is politically tied to General Motors, and the Volt in particular. The Volt experienced its first fire last June, but the NHTSA didn’t announce an investigation until November, the New York Times explains. In a House regulatory affairs subcommittee hearing today, Republicans will outline all the government help the Volt has gotten, implying a link between these facts.

But according to his prepared testimony, General Motors' CEO will point out that many of those subsidies were enacted under Bush. The NHTSA, meanwhile, will insist that it wasn't delaying intentionally, saying that its investigations generally begin because of warranty claims, highway accidents, or other complaints—none of which came in for the Volt, which has had problems only in crash tests, not real-world conditions. The NHTSA ultimately concluded that the Volt was no more dangerous than any gas-based car.