The automaker said Friday that officials at GM and LG Energy Solution, which supplies the vehicle’s battery cells, have identified a second “rare manufacturing defect” in electric vehicles that increases the risk of fire. The recall affects approximately 69,000 cars worldwide, including nearly 51,000 in the United States
To fix the problem, GM said it will replace faulty battery modules in vehicles, which can be expensive but will be free for owners. The automaker says the repair is different from the previous fix, which relied heavily on software and, in some cases, replacement modules.
“We are working with our suppliers and manufacturing teams to determine the best way to speed up battery capacity for module replacement as part of the recall,” GM spokesman Dan Flores said in an e- mail. “These teams are working around the clock on this issue. “
The company “will let customers know when spare parts are ready,” Flores said.
In the meantime, GM is asking affected Bolt EV owners to set their vehicles to a 90% state-of-charge limitation using Hilltop Reserve mode (for 2017-2018 model years) or Target Charge Level mode (for model year 2019).
GM is also asking owners to avoid depleting their battery below about 70 miles of remaining range and, as advised last week, to continue not to park their vehicles indoors or charge them unattended. during the night “by prudence”.
The first recall of Bolt EVs due to fires was announced in November by GM and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The automaker rolled out what it believed to be a permanent solution to the problem earlier this year.
One of the recent fires occurred as the vehicle was charging at the home of a Vermont state legislator earlier this month. The other fire occurred in New Jersey.
The NHTSA said last week that the batteries of impacted vehicles have the potential to smoke and ignite inside, which could spread to the rest of the vehicle and cause a structural fire if the vehicle is parked in an area. garage or near a house.
GM bought back some of the recalled vehicles, but the company declined to say how many. Automakers often buy back the recalled vehicles to appease disgruntled customers and avoid triggering state lemon laws and litigation.
GM says owners with questions should visit www.chevy.com/boltevrecall or contact its Chevrolet EV hotline at 1-833-EVCHEVY or contact their preferred Chevrolet EV dealer.