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Second Post-Crash Fire in Chevy Volt Prompts NHTSA Investigation
UPDATE - Masschusetts Right to Repair Initiative
ASCCA Loses Valued Member

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Second Post-Crash Fire in Chevy Volt Prompts NHTSA Investigation          

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said it will be opening a formal defect investigation into the risk of fire in Chevy Volts following a serious crash after the agency was able to reproduce the events that led to the initial Volt fire, and had a second car ignite last week.

This past May, NHTSA crashed a Chevy Volt. During that test, the vehicle's battery was damaged and the coolant line was ruptured. When a fire involving the test vehicle occurred more than three weeks after it was crashed, the agency concluded that the damage to the vehicle's lithium-ion battery during the crash test led to the fire.

In an effort to recreate the May test, NHTSA conducted three additional tests on the Volt's lithium-ion battery packs that intentionally damaged the battery compartment and ruptured the vehicle's coolant line. Following a test on November 16 that did not result in a fire, a temporary increase in temperature was recorded in a test on November 17. During the test conducted on November 18 using similar protocols, the battery pack was rotated within hours after it was impacted and began to smoke and emit sparks shortly after rotation to 180 degrees. NHTSA's forensic analysis of that incident is continuing. On November 24, the battery pack that was tested on November 17 caught fire at the testing facility.

The agency said it is currently working with the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, and GM to assess the cause and implications of the Thanksgiving Day fire.

In the meantime, the agency is continuing to work with all vehicle manufacturers to ensure they have appropriate post-crash protocols; asking automakers who currently have electric vehicles on the market or plan to introduce electric vehicles in the near future to provide guidance for discharging and handling their batteries along with any information they have for managing fire risks; and engaging the Department of Energy and the National Fire Protection Association to help inform the emergency response community of the potential for post-crash fires in electric vehicles.

NHTSA's current guidance for responding to electric vehicles that have been in a crash remains the same. The agency continues to urge tow trucks and repair facilities to ensure the damaged vehicle is kept in an open and not instead of inside a garage or other enclosed building.

Rather than attempt to discharge a propulsion battery the facility manager should contact experts at the vehicle's manufacturer on that subject.


UPDATE - Massachusetts Right to Repair Initiative Moves Closer to a Ballot Vote   

A "right to repair'' ballot initiative related to car repairs by independent auto shops and technicians has gathered the required number of signatures to move to the next step in the process, according to the Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition, which is behind the effort.  November 28 was the deadline to submit at least 68,911 signatures to move measures toward getting on the ballot in 2012. Secretary of State William F. Galvin must certify or reject the petitions next month.  If the petitions are approved, they will go to the Legislature, where lawmakers could approve a measure.  If they do not, petitioners will have to gather another 11,500 signatures by July to put their questions on the ballot.  The Coalition reported that it collected more than 106,000 signatures.


The group was unable to get a measure through the Legislature last year. It wants the state to require auto manufacturers to provide independent mechanics access to diagnostic information now available only to dealerships.  Consumer advocates have supported the bill, saying more access would drive down costs. Opponents say it would give away trade secrets.



ASCCA Loses Valued Member of Our Family



Steven Lustig  


Stephen Lustig, Sr. Passed away on November 26, 2011. He is survived by his wife, Betty Lustig, his son Stephen Lustig, Jr., his daughter, Carrie Lustig, and his mother Barbara Cowley.

Steve was the owner of Steve's Auto & Ag Repair for 33 years. His family will continue on his legacy with the business.

Steve was an ASCCA member for 26-years. He was a Charter Member of Chapter 99, where he was President of the chapter three times (1988-89, 1996-97 and 2009-11). He also served as chapter representative from 2000 to date.

Steve strongly supported education and for more that 10 years participated in the Shasta Trinity Regional Occupational Program. Steve will be greatly missed by his family, friends, customers and community colleagues. His immediate family plans a small private celebration of life




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Mudlick Mail 


Mudlick Mail helps automotive repair shops deliver the right message to the right people. The company's strategically targeted direct mail campaigns, turnkey services and expert guidance allow shop owners to increase their reach and grow their businesses.


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