By Rick Manning
National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) found
that government-owned General Motors’ showcase electric vehicle, the
Chevy Volt does not have a problem with catching on fire in spite of
two test vehicles becoming engulfed in flames weeks after being
subjected to test crashes. With 8000 Volts out there, and at least one
mysterious fire in the garage of an owner to go along with the
fires in the NHTSA garages, one has to wonder if the findings have
more to do with the Obama Administration’s desire to promote the Volt
rather than a real concern about consumer safety.
That is the kind of question that would never exist if the government
did not own more than one third of General Motors. Remember, the
the same agency that fined Toyota millions of dollars for an alleged
acceleration problem that caused accidents, only to discover months
later that the problem was a trial lawyer fabrication in order to
fleece the corporate giant.
During the extensive media coverage of Toyota’s “safety” problem,
General Motors vehicle sales jumped as the Japanese automaker struggled
to keep its reputation for making a reliable vehicle intact.
And that is ultimately one of the practical problems of the Obama
General Motors bailout. Every action by a regulatory agency dealing
with the company comes into question, and every action against a
competitor gets scrutinized as potentially being motivated by
self-interest rather than public safety.
The Chevy Volt itself should survive or fail based upon the
marketplace of consumers. However, the seeming regulatory push to save
the brand must have Ralph Nader spinning in his grave. Okay, Nader
isn’t dead, but his silence is certainly deafening.
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