General Motors is extending a second recall of the Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle due to unpredictable fires caused by the high voltage battery. The recall affects the 2017 to 2019 model years and is the second recall of the vehicle, following one issued in November 2020.
General Motors indicated that officials from the company, along with LG Energy Solution, the company that supplies batteries for the Bolt EV, said that the cells have “the simultaneous presence of two rare manufacturing defects in the same battery cell” that is causing an increased risk of battery fires. The recall will cover around 69,000 vehicles across the world and 51,000 in the United States.
Chevrolet said the issue would be taken care of by replacing defective battery modules in the recall population. The company will notify owners when the replacement parts are ready and is asking customers to perform three tasks to avoid any possible fires until the issue can be repaired:
- 1. Customers should, whether or not they received the current software update, return their vehicle to the 90% state of charge limitation using Hilltop Reserve mode (for 2017-2018 model years) or Target Charge Level (for 2019 model year) mode. If customers are unable to successfully make these changes, or do not feel comfortable making these changes, we are asking them to visit their dealer to have these adjustments completed.
- Additionally, we ask that customers charge their vehicle after each use and avoid depleting their battery below approximately 70 miles of remaining range, where possible.
- Out of an abundance of caution, customers should continue to park their vehicles outside immediately after charging and not leave their vehicles charging overnight.
Customers are also advised to visit their local Chevy dealer to receive “advanced diagnostics software.” The customers are advised to limit their charging state to 90% and follow the three steps above.
The recall follows a November 2020 recall of the same nature, as the National Highway Transportation and Safety Association (NHTSA) issued a recall on November 13th. General Motors said that 2017-2018 vehicles were most affected, but some 2019 models were also affected by the issue. The fires most often occurred when the vehicle was fully charged or near a full charge.