It's a safe wager that no one expected the report of the Chevrolet Volt fire after a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash test to turn into a Congressional dressing-down. The short story: NHTSA crash-tested a Volt in May, that car caught fire in June while in storage, and NHTSA alerted the public about the fire in November. Certain politicians have wondered if politics played a part in waiting until November to report the fire, and now a House panel is holding a hearing called "Volt Vehicle Fire: What did NHTSA know and when did they know it?" to find out.

According to The Detroit News, the proceedings have now drawn General Motors CEO Dan Akerson into its maw, Akerson agreeing to testify before the panel next week. Akerson's name hasn't come up so far as a Person of Interest, so it looks like the panel is looking to anyone who might have reason to know anything about what has been called "the silence."

NHTSA has already said, in response to questioning, that the White House had nothing to do with the timeline and we can't imagine that the NHTSA was taking its orders from Akerson. The group of pols headed by California Republican Darrell Issa believes that NHTSA has not adequately addressed the panel's concerns, so agency chief David Strickland will be there alongside Akerson to answer questions.