More pictures! How much more Voltage can we all take?

So pictures of another pre-production vehicle have slipped into the open. General Motors says it didn't authorize the release of photos of the production version of the Chevrolet Volt, which appeared on several Web sites on Sept. 8.

Chevrolet spokesman Terry Rhadigan says GM “is investigating” how the photos of the 2010 plug-in hybrid got out. Writers on our Web site are, um, skeptical.

Sez who? suspects the leak was just to “stroke those big egos at GM since nothing much else is working there.”

“Oh, c’mon, give me a break,” says another writer who sees GM’s hand in the leak: “Hey Terry, good acting job there, bud.”

But others took the story as a jumping-off place for a debate over energy policy. Some posted comments supporting the U.S. auto industry in general and GM in particular. One urged those complaining about the Detroit 3 to “stop being armchair quarterbacks and actually support American industry.”

Another cites GM’s years of experimenting with electric vehicles and adds that when GM had a mild hybrid pickup two years ago, “no one seemed interested.”

A different writer says the entire U.S. industry and government should have been working on alternative fuel development since the first energy crisis in the 1970s and concludes “there still seems to be lethargy among U.S. auto companies in coming to grips with reality.”

While the comments have evolved well beyond the leak, I’m still interested in hearing the results of GM’s investigation. Mind you, I tend to think GM didn’t want the pictures out there until next week when GM marks the day of its incorporation 100 years ago.

But I’m not sure anybody agrees.

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