The issue is with batteries containing cells made at LG Chem’s factory in Ochang, Korea. Chevrolet says that, in conjunction with NHTSA, it has confirmed a total of five Bolt EV fires caused by this issue, which occurred while charging cars’ batteries to full capacity.
Affected owners should contact their local Chevrolet dealer to schedule the hotfix, which will be available later this week. (You can check the NHTSA database to see if your vehicle’s VIN is included.) The update will prevent the battery from recharging beyond 90%, and Chevrolet says it will have a permanent fix that restores the battery’s ability to use 100% of its state of charge as soon as possible after January 1, 2021.
In the meantime, Chevrolet is asking owners of affected cars to change their charging settings to avoid the risk of fire before they are fixed.
For owners of EV Bolt MY2017 and MY2018 vehicles, this means activating Hilltop Reserve mode, which tells the battery to leave 10% overload while charging. For affected Bolt MY2019 EV owners, which have slightly different settings, Chevrolet recommends turning on Target Charge Mode, which should be set at 90%. (Video instructions are available on the Chevrolet Bolt EV recall page.) The company says if you don’t feel comfortable changing this setting yourself, you shouldn’t park your Bolt EV in a garage or under a carport before the car has been patched.