GM Prepares to Defend Volt Debacle, Toyota Aqua Splashes

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has scheduled a Jan. 25 hearing on the government’s investigation into fire hazards with GM’s (NYSE:GM) Chevrolet Volt, reports the Detroit News. The title of the hearing is “Volt Vehicle Fire: What did NHTSA know and when did they know it?”

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator David Strickland, the White House was told in September about a Volt fire in June, but there was no request that the information be kept under wraps. NHTSA did not disclose the fire until it was reported by Bloomberg News on Nov. 12.

Toyota (NYSE:TM) has plans to make about 20,000 units of the new Aqua hybrid subcompact this month and about 30,000 units each in February and March, the Nikkei reports.

Although Toyota launched the Aqua, one of the world’s most fuel-efficient cars, just last month, the company has already received orders for more than 60,000 of the vehicles, said the report.

The Aqua’s production volume will be second only to Japan’s best-selling model, the Toyota Prius, but the Aqua is priced lower than the Prius.