General Motors issued a worldwide recall of its Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles on Friday over defects in the batteries' lithium-ion batteries amid concerns that more of them might catch fire.
The company said in its alert that experts have identified the simultaneous presence of two rare manufacturing defects in the same battery cell as the root cause of battery fires in certain Chevrolet Bolt EVs, announcing that it would recall all 2017 - 2022 Bolt EVs and all 2022 Bolt EUVs to address the fire risk.
GM said it would replace the current batteries with new modules and bolt owners will be notified when parts are ready. In the meantime, the company advised those affected to set their vehicles to a 90% state of charge limitation, charge their cars more frequently and avoid depleting our batteries below 70 miles. The company is also urging all owners to take their vehicle outside immediately after charging and not leave Boles charged indoors overnight.
The move comes about a month after U.S. auto safety regulators told 50,000 Bolt owners to park their cars outside rather than in a garage over fire concerns. The impacted vehicles from the 2017 2019 Model Years were recalled at the time for the potential of an unattended fire in the high-voltage battery pack underneath the back seat cushion.
The Associated Press reported that Bolt batteries were first brand new after receiving reports that five of the cars had caught fire, with two people suffering smoke inhalation and one house burning. The number of fires linked to Bolt batteries has reached 10, a GM spokesperson told the AP.
The Bolt's global recall has also deepened consumer safety concerns about lithium-ion battery in general, which are used in almost all electric vehicles and have impacted other car manufacturers including electric vehicle giant Tesla.
Similarly, president Biden has been pushing for electric vehicles to make up 40 to 50% of auto sales by the end of the decade.