Find or Sell any Parts for Your Vehicle in USA

Connecticut garage fire destroys Volt and homemade EV

Mon, 18 Apr 2011

News reports say two plug-in electric cars--a 2011 Chevrolet Volt and a home-converted Suzuki Samurai--were destroyed in a garage fire in Barkhamsted, Conn., on April 14.

The destroyed Volt had just 2,000 miles on the odometer. The owner said he converted the Samurai to electric power a few years ago.

The home was not damaged by the fire. The family credited the quick response of the fire department and a firewall built between the home and the garage.

Firefighters say the cause of the fire is yet to be determined.

UPDATE 4/19/2011:

Official statement from General Motors on the fire:

Our engineering experts have inspected the Chevrolet Volt severely damaged in a garage fire in Barkhamsted, CT. We believe the findings indicate the Volt was damaged by the fire, not the cause.

The garage and its contents, including the Volt and a hand-built Suzuki Samurai EV, were heavily damaged in last Thursday's fire.

While the Volt's battery pack sustained damage, it was not extensive enough or of the type that would suggest that it caused the fire. In addition, there is clear evidence based on moderate damage to the cordset and charging system that neither component caused the fire.

The vehicles had been left in the garage for investigators and insurers to review when a second incident occurred earlier today. Smoke was seen coming from the damaged Volt and the fire department responded quickly. We continue to support the department in its investigation, sending our experts back to Connecticut to continue working with fire marshals.

We've spent more than a decade developing the technology which went into Volt. As such, it has a wide range of active and passive safety systems to ensure our customers are protected.

The most important thing to remember is that everyone is safe and fire investigators are working diligently to determine the cause. We'll share more information as it becomes available.

By Michelle Koueiter