Well, of course not, says Ray LaHood:
Three House Republicans, describing themselves as “deeply troubled,” asked the Obama administration Thursday to explain why it didn’t disclose a fire in a crash-tested extended-range electric Chevrolet Volt for several months — and whether the White House asked a safety agency to delay the release.
“We are deeply troubled by the fact that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has deliberately suppressed public knowledge of the safety risk posed by the Chevrolet Volt,” said the letter from Reps. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Mike Kelly, R-Pa.
It was sent to NHTSA Administrator David Strickland.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood denied any suggestion that his agency deliberately kept the information under wraps for months.
“That is absolutely not true,” LaHood said.
“We will continue to share any information we find because we want to make sure consumers and first-responders have the most up-to-date information.”
LaHood and Strickland declined to say if any previously unreported fires have been sparked in the government’s Volt tests.
They also declined comment on the status of additional testing.
In June, three weeks after a government crash test, a Volt caught fire. NHTSA didn’t disclose the fire took place until November, when Bloomberg News reported it.
After a second round of tests of battery packs, a fire was sparked on Thanksgiving, seven days after the test crash. NHTSA opened a formal safety investigation after the second fire.
“The way that people found out about (the first fire) is we reported it,” LaHood said.
Actually, LaHood brings up an interesting question: do first responders have to treat a chemical fire in a Volt differently than they would a fire in a regular car?
I think the mere question deserves the “Have you no shame?” treatment