By Beth Fisher

DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – General Motors says it will offer free loaner cars to Chevrolet Volt owners if they’re concerned about the cars catching fire.

“To avoid any inconvenience, any Volt customer who remains the least bit concerned will be offered a free loan of another GM vehicle with typical Volt team white glove treatment until the issue is resolved,” said GM President of North America Mark Reuss, adding that he does believe in the safety of the Volt.

The move comes after last week’s announcement that the government is investigating fires involving the Volt’s lithium-ion batteries.

The company Monday announced it will contact the owners to reassure them that the cars are safe. But it’s making the offer to make sure Volt owners don’t lose confidence in the cars.

Reuss said new technologies are always held up to scrutiny and they welcome it.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says a Volt battery pack that was being monitored after a crash test caught fire on Thursday. The agency says another battery that recently was crash-tested gave off smoke and sparks.

GM officials say a battery should a Volt battery should  be de-powered after a crash because if there’s electric energy you risk fire.

The latest fires are in addition to a battery fire in a crash-tested Volt six months ago.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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