General Motors is offering a free loan vehicle to US-based owners of the Chevrolet Volt. The company believes some drivers might be suddenly hesitant about driving their vehicle due to the sudden storm of publicity surrounding the plug-in car. The initiative follows the news that the country’s NHTSA is investigating incidents of the car’s battery pack smoking, emitting sparks or catching fire following several crash tests.

Mark Reuss, GM’s president of North America, states, “A vehicle loan program of this nature is well beyond the norm for a preliminary investigation, and it underlines our commitment to the vehicle and its owners,” he said. “We don’t think there’s an immediate fire risk.”

The company has moved quickly to assemble an engineering team to develop changes to the Volt, so as to eliminate concern about potential electrical fires after crashes. The group of engineers is headed by Mary Barra, GM’s senior vice president of global product development.

Author: Glenn Brooks