GM Buying Back Chevy Bolt EVs that Face Risk of Fire
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Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming more mainstream. Most manufacturers are rolling out, or already have rolled out, fully electric options. As EVs become more popular, consumers are demanding better batteries and longer range between charges. Manufacturers are stepping up to improve EVs, but not without some hiccups.
The Chevy Bolt EV is one of many electric car options on the market. With General Motors’ history of having reliable vehicles, the Bolt EV became a popular electric model. The 2022 Chevy Bolt EUV was even named one of the best EVs.
However, the Bolt EV hasn't been without its problems. Some owners have reported that their cars are catching on fire. Here are more details about how GM responded, and what this might mean for EVs in general.
What is the problem with Chevy Bolt EV batteries?
According to The Drive, GM issued a recall for 2016 to 2019 models of the Chevy Bolt EV for fire risks. When the batteries of the vehicles are at a high charge, they can catch on fire. This can lead to burns and other serious injuries.
To resolve these issues, GM notified owners to head into a dealership to limit the charge on the Bolt EVs to 90%. Currently, Chevy's webpage says that they have developed a solution for 2017 to 2019 Bolt EVs. If you visit a dealership, they can remove the battery limit, and update your Bolt EV with new software that can detect potential battery performance issues.
GM is buying back some Chevy Bolt EV models
Some buybacks for the Bolt EVs were happening as early as February according to Electrek. The buyback is voluntary and processed on a case-by-case basis; many requests have been denied by GM. Other companies have struggled with the same EV battery problems.
The Hyundai Kona EV suffered a similar recall, with Hyundai opting to replace the entire battery pack to try to eliminate the risk of fire. There is speculation from Bolt EV owners about the exact issue with the Bolt EV batteries.
The Drive reported that a GM spokesperson said, "Our experts believe the cause of the fires is related to a rare manufacturing defect in certain battery modules in certain vehicles from these production years."
The recalls have prompted more EV research
These issues call for more research around energy storage for EV batteries. As GM works on stable fixes, the automaker will learn more about how to prevent battery defects in EVs. As EVs continue to evolve, GM and other manufacturers will have to find ways to make sure their car batteries are safe and reliable.
This may be a setback for GM, but it’s still early days for EV development. In order for consumers to trust and switch to EVs, automakers will have to prove that they are safe to drive by making improvements to EV technology.
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