GM recalls all Chevy Bolts due to fire risk

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FILE – This Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020 file photo shows a 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV on display at the 2020 Pittsburgh International Auto Show in Pittsburgh. General Motors is recalling all Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles sold worldwide to fix a battery problem that could cause fires. The recall raises questions about lithium ion batteries, which now are used in nearly all electric vehicles. President Joe Biden wants to convert 50% of the U.S. vehicle fleet from internal combustion to electricity by 2050 as part of a broader effort to fight climate change. The recall was announced Friday, Aug. 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

HOUSTON (CW39) –  A recall for GM’S Chevy Bolt is expanding to include 73,000 more models due to a battery issue that could cause fires.  This recall applies to all Bolt electric vehicles and includes 69,000 older Bolts from a previous recall.  General Motors says in rare cases the batteries have two manufacturing defects that can cause fires.  They’re now asking owners to park their vehicles outside and away from structures and to not charge the vehicles overnight. 

The Detroit-based automaker is also asking owner to take the following actions:

  • Set vehicle to the 90% state of charge limitation using Hilltop Reserve mode (2017 and 2018 model years)
  • Target Charge Level mode (2019-2022 model years)
  • Visit a local dealer to set vehicles to the 90% state of charge limitation mode
  • Recharge the battery on their Bolts after each use
  • Do not wait until the battery is almost run down (deep discharge mode) before recharging

The first Chevy Bolt recall happened in November following reports of vehicles catching fire.  A house was set on fire and two people suffered smoke inhalation.  Originally GM said the recall was due to a manufacturing defect at a South Korean factory run by LG Chemical Solution.  After an investigation, the company found that the defects were possible in batteries made at other sites.  After a 2019 model caught fire a few weeks ago in Chandler, AZ, an investigation for the newer Bolts started.   

This latest recall will cost General Motors about $1 billion dollars, making the total cost of Bolt battery recalls $1.8 billion.  GM says batteries with the new modules will come with an eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty. The company is also replacing all five battery modules in 2017 to 2019 Bolts and defective modules will be replaced in newer models.

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