Government closes Volt probe, says car is safe

By the Associated Press | January 20, 2012 | 5:55 PM EST

DETROIT (AP) — The government is ending its safety investigation into the Chevrolet Volt.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Friday that it's closing the probe and believes the Volt and other electric cars don't pose a greater risk of fire than gas-powered vehicles.

The agency started studying the Volt last June after a fire broke out in a Volt three weeks after it was crashed in a safety test. The agency knows of no fires in real-world crashes.

NHTSA says that based on the investigation, it has developed guidelines for firefighters and other responders on how to handle electric cars after a crash.

General Motors Co. announced earlier this month that it will add steel plates to the 12,000 existing Volts to protect the batteries in the event of a crash.