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USA: Auto Watchdogs Approve GM’s Volt-Fix Plan, U.S. Agency Says

Jan. 9 (Bloomberg) — U.S. auto-safety regulators are pleased with General Motors Co.’s plan to fix its Volt electric cars following fires in crash testing, National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator David Strickland said.

GM, based in Detroit, told owners last week to bring their Volts back to dealerships to have steel added to shield the cars’ lithium-ion batteries. Strickland’s agency opened an investigation into the Volt’s battery in November.

“They really did put customers first,” Strickland said yesterday in an interview at Cobo Hall in Detroit, where the North American International Auto Show started today. “This really is a safety issue.”

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, speaking with reporters today at the auto show, said GM “worked very cooperatively” with regulators. “It’s in everybody’s best interest to make sure the Volt is safe to drive,” said LaHood, who praised the U.S. government’s $7,500 tax credit for buyers of the Volt and other electric vehicles.

NHTSA plans to conclude its investigation soon, Strickland said without further specifying.



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