Chevrolet Bolt owner worried electric car could be fire hazard following recall
TORONTO -- General Motors issued a second recall for it’s popular Chevrolet Bolt last month following a similar recall to install software updates in November of 2020.
About 69,000 of the electric vehicles are being recalled worldwide, including 8,000 in Canada following nine fires.
The latest one happened when a Bolt that had been reprogrammed following the earlier recall went up in flames in Thetford, Vermont July 1, 2021.
Scott Jefferd of Stoney Creek, Ontario has a 2018 Chevy Bolt and said he loves the car but worries it could be a potential fire hazard.
“I'm obviously concerned for the safety of my family and the people around us," said Jefferd who added “I really like the car but the chance it could catch on fire and cause harm is a major drawback.”
GM Canada told CTV News in a statement that, “As part of GM’s commitment to safety, experts from GM and LG have identified the simultaneous presence of two rare manufacturing defects in the same battery cell as the root cause of battery fires in certain Chevrolet Bolt EVs. As a result, GM will be conducting a new recall for the previous population of Bolt EVs (2017-2019) to address the risk of battery fires in these vehicles.”
As part of the recall, GM will replace defective battery modules in the recall population and will notify customers when replacement parts are ready. It’s asking customers to take the following steps until the new remedy has been performed.
“Customers should, whether or not they received the current software update, return their vehicle to the 90 per cent 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.”
GM added that “customers charge their vehicle after each use and avoid depleting their battery below approximately 70 miles (112 km) of remaining range, where possible” and that “out of an abundance of caution, customers should continue to park their vehicles outside immediately after charging and not leave their vehicles charging overnight.”
Jefferd says it's a huge drawback if he can't charge his Bolt in his garage while he is sleeping.
“One of the selling features of battery electric vehicles is you drive them home into your garage and plug it into your house so when you wake up in the morning you are ready to go” said Jefferd.
“I'd like to have the battery replaced with one they are a lot more confident in so that it's not likely to catch fire," Jefferd added.
There's no evidence that electric cars catch on fire more often than gasoline powered vehicles, but when they do the battery packs burn much hotter and they're more difficult to put out.
General Motors said customers who have not visited their dealer to receive the advanced diagnostics software should visit their nearest Chevrolet EV dealer to obtain the update. After obtaining the software, customers should still limit their state of charge to 90 per cent and otherwise follow the advice above.
For more information on the recall check www.chevy.com/boltevrecall or contact the Chevrolet EV Concierge 1-833-EVCHEVY or contact their preferred Chevrolet EV dealer.