GM Chevrolet Bolt recalling EV due to fire risk amid federal investigation

The Chevrolet Bolt EV is screened during the Los Angeles Auto Show at Los Angeles Convention Center on November 20, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.

Josh Lefkowitz | Getty Images

General Motors is recalling thousands of all-electric Chevrolet Bolt EVs due to fire risk.

The Detroit automaker said that on Friday it is recalling 68,667 cars worldwide from 2017 through the 2019 model years, including about 51,000 in the US. The recall includes some vehicles being used by GM’s majority autonomous vehicle subsidiary Cruise.

According to Chevrolet Bolt EV acting chief engineer Jesse Ortega, GM confirmed five instances of the blaze that “may have been related to high voltage batteries in vehicles”.

In October, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigated three alleged fires involving the Chevrolet Bolt EV. The automaker has stated the Federal Vehicle Safety Agency, Ortega.

GM has a dedicated team of engineers and experts who, according to Ortega, are working to determine the cause of the fire. They have so far found that the common factors involved in the fire included vehicles were at or near full charge and the battery was produced by GM’s partner LG Chem in South Korea from May 2016 to May 2019.

GM does not expect a complete solution to the problem until next year. Meanwhile, GM Bolt is asking EV owners to give them time for an appointment with a Chevrolet dealership starting on Tuesday. The dealer will update and update the car’s battery software to limit the vehicle’s maximum charge to 90%.

GM customers are asking owners to change their vehicle’s settings to reduce their charging capacity until customers receive software updates. It released a video on Friday to do so. If customers are “uncomfortable” with changing the settings, GM said they should avoid parking vehicles in garages or corporations until they receive software updates.

The NHTSA investigation covered 77,842 Bolt EVs from 2017 through 2020 model years. GM said that it is not returning vehicles from the 2020 model-year because there are no reports of a fire in their batteries.


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