GM's Akerson says Chevy Volt not designed to be a political punching bag
In a politically charged Congressional Hearing held today, the safety of the Chevy Volt, and the integrity of the NHTSA, was called into question by members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The sometimes heated hearing gave both the NHTSA and GM an opportunity to defend their investigation and response to last summers Chevy Volt crash test fire.
The hearing began with NHTSA Director David Strickland, testifying on the NHTSA's investigation, and it was Strickland who received the brunt of attacks by some committee members, primarily the Chairman Rep. Jordan, Rep. Mike Kelly, and Rep. Issa (all Republicans). Stricklands testimony was followed by GM's CEO Dan Akerson, testifying on GM's role, GM's resurgence as a company, and the history of the Volt project. Those two were followed by John German, a Senior Fellow with the Council on Clean Transportation who gave testimony on the CAFE Standards negotiation as well as the background of lithium ion battery safety.
While several talked about the politically charged scene none captured it better than GM's CEO Akerson when he said GM's engineers had not designed the Chevy Volt to be a political punching bag.
While a huge variety of topics were discussed, a thread throughout the hearing was the sense of Trust being Violated. Specifically Trust in the Integrity of the NHTSA in their handling of the Chevy Volt fire controversy. The elements of the eroded trust were represented by the sort of questions asked, which appear here in bold.