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USA: GM CEO says Chevy Volt fire problem handled properly

WASHINGTON – The head of General Motors Co. says the company properly handled a problem with battery fires in Chevrolet Volt electric cars last year.

In written testimony for a congressional hearing Wednesday, GM chairman and CEO Daniel F. Akerson said testing by government regulators resulted in fires “after putting the battery through lab conditions that no driver would experience in the real world.”

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the testimony Tuesday.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began studying the Volt last June after a fire broke out in one of the cars three weeks after it was crashed as part of safety testing. Two other fires related to separate safety tests occurred later, and NHTSA opened an official investigation into the vehicle on Nov. 25. The government ended its investigation last week, concluding that the Volt and other electric cars don’t pose a greater fire risk than gasoline-powered cars. The agency and General Motors Co. know of no fires in real-world crashes.

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