U.S. auto safety regulators on Wednesday urged about 50,000 owners of General Motors Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles who were reminded last year to park outside and away from homes and other structures after charging. due to the risk of fire.
Earlier Wednesday, GM made the same recommendation and added that owners should not leave vehicles charging overnight. The recommendation was made after the largest U.S. automaker said it was investigating reports of two recent fires in vehicles recalled in November over fire hazards.
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America’s 50,000 Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles (EVs) date to 2017-2019 model years and have been recalled for the potential of an unattended fire in the high-voltage battery under the lower back seat cushion.
The NHTSA opened an investigation in October into the Bolt fires, the agency noted on Wednesday and “continues to assess the information received and examine these latest fires.”
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The November recall of nearly 69,000 Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles – including about 50,000 in the United States – with high-voltage batteries produced at LG Chem Ltd’s facilities in Ochang, South Korea, was carried out after five fires reported and two minor injuries.
In April, GM also announced a software update and said dealers would use “diagnostic tools to identify potential battery faults and replace battery module assemblies if necessary.”
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NHTSA said owners should park outside indefinitely whether or not they’ve completed the software update.
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GM said in April that it would make the diagnostic software standard in 2022 Bolt EV and electric utility vehicles, as well as future GM electric vehicles, and offer the update for all other Bolt EVs on the road at a future date.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Leslie Adler and Aurora Ellis)