General Motors has announced its second recall on their EV model, the Chevy Bolt. The recall pertains to their 2017-2019 models in response to defective battery modules. The high-voltage batteries made by LG Chem have caused eight confirmed fires, resulting in injuries and vehicle damage.
Since both the NHTSA and GM found prominent safety concerns that are worth investigating, it’s key for consumers to understand the dangers of this recall including what to do about it if you are a Chevy Bolt owner.
What caused the Chevy Bolt recall?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration first announced a recall on the Chevy Bolt model in mid July. Chevrolet followed suit a week later after investigating complaints regarding the same issue. The recall covers close to 70,000 Bolt models globally, with 51,000 of those vehicles located in the United States. Unfortunately, the cause of the battery explosion is still unknown. Yet, both the manufacturer and GM are taking every action possible to resolve this matter.
How will GM fix the recall?
The American automaker issued a plan of action on how they intend to remedy this growing concern. A spokesman for GM, Dan Flores, states, “We’re working with our supplier and manufacturing teams to determine how to best expedite battery capacity for module replacement under the recall.”
The cost to replace these batteries is immense. However, Chevy Bolt owners will be free of any charges resulting from the recall. Once dealerships receive the new batteries, customers can schedule a time to fix the issue. It’s important to note all 2020-2021 models can disregard this issue since the battery was designed differently.
Important guidelines for the Chevy Bolt recall
While the GM team is working effortlessly to resolve this issue, a recent announcement has given explicit instructions to Chevy Bolt owners. Customers with 2017-2018 models should return their vehicle to 90% state of charge limitation using Hilltop Reserve mode. For the 2019 model, drivers should enable the Target Charge Level, following the same guidelines.
In addition, Chevrolet asked customers to “charge their vehicle after each use and avoid depleting their battery below approximately 70 miles of remaining range, where possible.” To emphasize the importance of this safety issue, the automaker also recommended for Bolt owners to park their vehicles outside versus inside a garage. It may be best to keep the Bolt parked on the street or further away from your home.
All these measures will actively help prevent a battery explosion from occurring. However, one of the most important recommendations to follow is to stop overnight charging. Overcharging the Bolt battery could result in a higher probability of the malfunction happening.
Recap of what to do
All Chevy Bolt drivers should contact their local dealership to receive a full diagnostic of their EV. Until the recall is worked out, it is vital for drivers to continually limit their charge to 90%. On top of that, keep a close watch on any updates to the recall to best adjust to any changes.
As GM makes a strong initiative toward a fully EV lineup, these hiccups raise greater concern for the future of battery-powered cars. Although these recalls are followed by responsive action, the manufacture of these high-voltage batteries will need further investigation in regard to consumer safety.
If you’re looking for more information regarding the Chevy Bolt recall and the ongoing analysis of defective battery modules, visit the NHTSA website.