GM expands recall to every Chevy Bolt EV and Bolt EUV for fire risk

GM expanded the recall of the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV to include every Bolt electric vehicle made in the U.S. since it launched for 2017, the automaker confirmed Friday. Two manufacturing defects in the battery cell could cause the electric hatchback and electric crossover to catch fire.

The expanded recall comes less than a week after GM confirmed that it planned to replace the defective battery modules in all 2017-2019 Chevrolet Bolt EVs with new battery modules. That costly recall fix comes nearly a year after GM first announced the fire risk in November 2020 and advised owners to park outside away from structures and not to charge the battery to capacity. The interim fix while GM diagnosed the scope of the problem was a software updated to limit the Bolt’s state of charge to 90%. 

In May, GM agreed to replace battery modules as necessary. Two more Bolts caught fire that already had the fix completed, prompting GM in July to advise owners to park outside and not leave the car charging overnight “out of an abundance of caution.” 

The first recall encompassed 50,925 Bolt EVs in the U.S., or 68,667 in North America. The expanded recall includes the remaining 2019 Bolt EV models not part of the first recall, all 2020-2022 Bolt EVs, and the new 2022 Bolt EUV crossover, which totals 52,403 units in the U.S., or 63,683 in North America. The total recall population nears 110,000 cars.

Originally, GM concluded the problem was limited to battery packs supplied by LG Chem from their Korean manufacturing facilities. In mid-2019, battery production moved to Holland, Mich. The problem persisted. GM estimates the cost of replacing the defective battery modules in the latest population of vehicles to be $1 billion.

The drawn-out recalls come at a time when GM and other automakers are ramping up production of electric vehicles. Hyundai had a similar issue with the Kona EV but nipped it in the bud in March by replacing the entire battery pack in up to 82,000 vehicles globally. 

“As leaders in the transition to an all-electric future, we know that building and maintaining trust is critical,” Doug Parks, GM executive vice president, said in a statement. “GM customers can be confident in our commitment to taking the steps to ensure the safety of these vehicles.” 

Batteries with the new modules will come with an 8-year/100,000-mile limited warranty. Until the customers in the new recall population receive the fix, they’re advised to do the same thing as their predecessors:

– Set the vehicle to a 90% state of charge limit using the Target Charge Level mode, or take the car in and have the dealer set it.

– Charge more frequently to avoid the battery charge dipping below 70 miles of range.

– Park outside immediately after charging and don’t charge it indoors at night.

For more information, visit the Chevrolet Bolt recall page or call Chevy EV Concierge at 1-833-EVCHEVY. 

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