The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued an alert for all 2017-2019 Chevrolet Bolt owners, following the recent fire in the car of Vermont State Representative Timothy Briglin and another noted in the missive. This, of course, after two safety recalls for potential fire hazard due to a manufacturing defect in LG Chem batteries.
On Wednesday afternoon, the NHTSA officially asked owners of used Bolts to park their vehicles outside and away from buildings whenever possible, and also recommended not to leave Bolts on charge during the night. These two recommendations make Bolt the property boring at best and impossible at worst. If you drive to work every day and charge every night, a government security administrator tells you to stop doing that.
An initial recall was issued in November 2020 for a potential fire hazard in the high voltage battery. The cells had a small possibility of heating and igniting inside. It’s possible for the fire inside the battery to spread to the rest of the car, and potentially beyond the car if it’s parked near a building, you know, where chargers are usually located. This recall affected 50,932 bolts, and each of them is again affected.
NHTSA says so has been made aware of two Bolt EV fires in vehicles that have already received the recall “fix” from GM. It looks like the patch is potentially not actually a patch.
I’m pretty much the biggest homer for electric cars, but if my EV had a potential fire issue that should have been addressed with a recall but wasn’t, I’d be a little upset about it. It’s a shame that this problem is happening, and I hope it doesn’t affect anyone else. Fire is not something to mess around with, so if you have a Bolt please follow these instructions and find an alternate method of getting to where you need to go. I know it’s a lot easier said than done, but it’s not worth the risk.