Federal investigators were never instructed to “de-power” the Chevrolet Volt’s battery following crash-testing, an omission that contributed to a pair of fires. “When electrical energy is left in a battery, it is similar to leaving gasoline in a fuel tank that has been damaged,” Mary Barra, senior vice president-global product development, says today in a conference call with journalists. “It is important to drain that energy so it does not cause any type of risk, especially for fire.” ...

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