Chevy Bolt EV recall extended due to fire hazard

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Vermont State Police released this photo of the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV that caught fire in the driveway of State Representative Timothy Briglin, a Democrat, on July 1, 2021.

Vermont State Police

DETROIT – General Motors said Friday that it is extending its recent recall of Chevrolet Bolt EVs to newer models of the electric car due to possible fire hazards.

The expansion of the recall is expected to cost the automaker another $ 1 billion, bringing the total recall to $ 1.8 billion to replace potentially defective battery modules in the vehicles.

According to GM, the 2019-2022 model year recall will add about 73,000 vehicles in the US and Canada, including a recently launched larger version of the car called the Bolt EUV. The former recall affected approximately 69,000 2017-2019 model years cars worldwide, including nearly 51,000 in the United States

GM said it is pursuing reimbursement obligations from EV battery supplier LG, which produced the defective parts at plants in South Korea and Michigan.

The automaker plans to replace the vehicle’s expensive battery cell modules. GM also said it is working with LG Energy Solutions to fix the root cause of the defects and increase production of the new modules.

“Our focus on safety and doing what’s right for our customers guides every decision we make at GM,” said Doug Parks, an executive vice president of GM who oversees products, purchasing and supply chains. “As leaders in the transition to an all-electric future, we know that building and maintaining trust is critical. GM customers can count on our commitment to take the steps to ensure these vehicles are safe.”

The expansion follows the companies who discover that the batteries for these vehicles may have two manufacturing defects – a cracked anode tab and a folded separator – in the same battery cell, increasing the risk of fire.

GM has confirmed a fire in the new recalled vehicle population. That’s in addition to at least nine previously confirmed fires on the first round of vehicles that were recalled.

GM also said it will notify customers when replacement parts are available.

In the meantime, GM is urging affected Bolt EV owners to set their vehicles to a 90% state-of-charge limit in Hilltop Reserve Mode (for 2017-2018 model years) or Target State-of-Charge mode (for 2019 model year).

GM is also asking owners to avoid draining their batteries below about 70 miles of remaining range and, as recommended last week, continue not to park their vehicles indoors or charge them unattended overnight “out of caution”.

According to GM, owners with questions should visit www.chevy.com/boltevrecall or contact the Chevrolet EV hotline at 1-833-EVCHEVY or contact their preferred Chevrolet EV dealer.