U.S. Warns 50,000 Owners to Park Their Chevy Bolt Outside
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General Motors’ (GM) Chevy Bolt models have had a lot of issues recently. GM was buying back some Chevy Bolt EVs that faced a risk of fire after issuing a recall.
According to Car and Driver, in November 2020, 50,932 vehicles from 2017 to 2019 model years were recalled. As of July 14, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) told Chevy Bolt EV owners to park their vehicles outside until further notice.
The NHTSA is a federal agency that investigates potential safety issues in vehicles. Here are more details about NHTSA’s notice and the issues with the Chevy Bolt EVs.
What are the issues affecting Chevy Bolt models?
Owners of the Chevy Bolt should be careful with their car
The Chevy Bolt’s high-voltage battery pack, located under the bottom cushion of the back seat, can catch on fire unexpectedly. This can result in a dangerous, unattended fire hazard.
The lithium-ion batteries were manufactured by LG Chem in South Korea, with an output of 60 kWh. The NHTSA and GM have confirmed five instances of fires related to the problem. In one case, the fire spread from the vehicle and “ignited a home,” as reported by Car and Driver.
In another incident, the consumer reported smoke inhalation injuries. At each of these incidents, the batteries were at nearly full or at full charge.
The NHTSA is also investigating 2020 Chevy Bolt EVs and reported that the total vehicles affected could potentially be 77,842. However, these newer models use a different battery-cell design.
Recommendations from NHTSA
Due to the risk of fire, NHTSA has issued a notice that Bolt EV owners should park the vehicles outdoors, away from houses.
NHTSA announced that according to GM, “Owners of these vehicles should park their vehicles outside away from homes and other structures immediately after charging and should not leave their vehicles charging overnight.”
The federal safety agency said that two fires occurred in Bolt EVs that have already received fixes for their recall issues. So, even if your vehicle has been in for recall service, the warning still applies.
What should you do if your vehicle is impacted?
As mentioned by NHTSA, you should park your Chevy Bolt EV outside, away from any structures. Even if you’ve received a recall repair, your Bolt is still at risk of fire.
On the Chevrolet website, GM announced a software update that identifies and replaces faulty battery module assemblies. The fix will include installing software that detects “issues related to changes in battery module performance before problems can develop.” You can refer to this dedicated page for Chevy Bolt updates.
Customers will need to visit a dealership to have the diagnostic software installed. Owners of 2017 to 2019 models are already eligible for the fix. The software will be available to other Bolt EV owners in the upcoming months. GM will be making the software available by default for the 2022 Bolt EV and EUV, as well as future electric vehicles.
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