NHTSA is Investigating Reports of Fires in Chevy Bolt Electric Vehicles
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is looking into complaints of fuel leaks in older Chevy Cobalt small cars and HHR wagons. According to an Associated Press news report, the probe covers more than 614,000 Cobalt vehicles from the 2008 to 2010 model years and HHRs from 2008 and 2009.
Details of the Investigation
NHTSA says it currently has 208 complaints from owners of these vehicles about gasoline leaks. So far, 39 owners have told the agency about gas puddles or drips from leaky fuel lines toward the left rear wheel well. The agency says in documents posted on its website that the leaks are caused by corrosion of metal fuel lines near polymer blocks that hold the lines to the body. The leaks are beneath an insulation heat shield near the exhaust pipe and muffler.
The agency says that it hasn’t received any reports of crashes, fires or injuries relating to this problem. The goal of the investigation, NHTSA says, is to determine how often the problem occurs and to assess potential safety issues. Investigations could result in recalls in the future. A GM spokesman said the automaker has been in discussions with NHTSA on this issue and will continue to cooperate with the investigation.
Knowing the Red Flags
Driving a vehicle with a fuel leak can be dangerous not just because gas leaks are the leading causes of vehicle fires, but also because it is flammable and creates a slick surface for other drivers. A fuel leak has the potential to cause a fire or explosion if the vapors or gasoline come into contact with a heat source. And this heat source could be something as simple and small as a spark. If this occurs, the gas may ignite putting the passengers of the vehicle and others around the car in grave danger.
The most common sign of a gas leak is the smell of gas. One additional sign you may notice is burning through the fuel sooner than you did before. If you notice that you are filling up your gas tank much more often than before, you may have a fuel leak. Another sign of a fuel leak is a rough idle, which means the vehicle is not smooth when it is on, but not in motion. If you notice these signs, it is crucial that you get your vehicle inspected.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to an auto defect, it is important that you contact an experienced auto defect lawyer who can help provide you with more information about pursuing your legal rights.