White House Not Involved in Volt Fire Disclosures

NHTSA's David Strickland tells Congress that White House officials did not ask agency to keep reports of battery fires secret.

Published: 02-Feb-2012

The White House had no role in the decision to delay disclosure of a firethat broke out ina crash-tested Chevrolet Volt, the Obama administration told Congress on Friday.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator David Strickland said the White House was informed in September of the June fire, but officials didn't ask the agency to keep the information secret. NHTSA didn't publicly disclose the fire until Nov. 12, when Bloomberg News first reported it occurred.

After an initial investigation concluded that damage to the Volt battery was the cause of the June fire, NHTSA briefed Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Strickland told three House Republicans in letters obtained by The Detroit News on Friday. The Transportation Department "shortly thereafter informed the Executive Office of the Presidentregarding the June fire and NHTSA's test plans to determine if the fire indicated that there is arisk of post-crash fires in Chevrolet Volts. No one from theExecutive Office ofthe President requested orin any way suggested that NHTSA delaypublic release of information related to the Volt fire," said thefour-page letter dated Thursday.


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