General Motors has announced another Chevy Bolt recall following reports of at least a dozen of the electric vehicles catching fire.
Two Recalls in Less Than a Year
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) alerted the public about the latest Chevy Bolt recall on July 23, 2021. This is the second such recall in less than a year.
General Motors announced its first Chevy Bolt recall on November 13, 2020, after five Model Year 2017-2019 vehicles with LG Chem batteries caught fire. All of those vehicles were at a nearly full state of charge, three of them were unplugged at the time, and one had been driven recently. This first recall proposed an “interim remedy” directing owners to limit the state of charge to 90 percent as a precaution and to park and charge the vehicles outside. GM also ordered dealers to stop selling used Bolts affected by the recall.
GM revised its initial recall on April 29, 2021 when it introduced a “final remedy” involving “advanced onboard diagnostic software.” The software update promised to “detect potential issues related to changes in battery module performance before problems can develop,” allowing for a return to a battery capacity of 100 percent.
However, neither remedy fully worked. The NHTSA said that it is aware of one battery fire that occurred with the interim remedy and two fires with the final remedy. Overall, there have been at least a dozen Chevy Bolt battery fires so far, though there have been no reports of people getting hurt or of personal injury attorneys filing lawsuits related to these incidents.
Instructions for New Chevy Bolt Recall
The current Chevy Bolt recall applies to all Model Year 2017-2019 vehicles on the road, even if the owner has had the previous repairs completed. As part of the recall, GM will be replacing the battery modules in the affected vehicles. Until this fix is completed, GM is urging owners to take the following actions:
- Set the vehicle to the 90-percent state-of-charge limitation, either by using the Hilltop Reserve mode (for 2017 and 2018 models) or the Target Charge Level mode (for 2019 models).
- If you are unable to set the vehicle to the 90-pecent state-of-charge limitation mode, or if you feel uncomfortable making the change yourself, visit your dealer immediately to have the change made.
- Recharge the battery after each use and avoid running down the battery below an estimated remaining 70-mile range.
- Park the vehicle outside and away from structures, if possible.
- Do not charge the vehicle overnight.
Owners may visit NHTSA.gov/recalls to find out if their vehicles are affected under the latest Chevy Bolt recall. If so, they should call the nearest Chevrolet dealership immediately to schedule a free repair.
The NHTSA said that it continues to evaluate all Chevy Bolt recall remedies and incidents reported, including fires.
Helping Consumers Harmed by Defective Products
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, defective products cause approximately 29.4 million injuries and 21,400 deaths in the United States each year. The nation spends of average of $700 billion annually on the injuries, deaths, and property damage that result from consumer products that have been defectively designed or manufactured.
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