GM is looking at the risk of fires in Chevy Bolt vehicles after a Virginia woman reported that her car went up in smoke on July 4. According to an ABC7 news report, the $43,000 electric vehicle caught fire in the parking lot of her parents’ home during a family get-together. Hajime Rojas said she saw the smoke growing and getting bigger behind the car. Rojas called 911.
Car Goes Up in Smoke
While there were no visible flames, there was enough heat generated to melt the backseat and some plastic electrical parts. The vehicle was declared a total loss. While firefighters did not tell Rojas the cause of the fire, they did want to know the location of the car’s lithium-ion battery.
The 2019 Bolt has a five-star government safety rating. But, Rojas investigated to find that several other Bolts have been destroyed in fires. She went to GM with this information asking them to investigate the case. But they refused saying that it was now in the hands of her insurance company. Frustrated, Rojas then called 7 On Your Side, ABC’s investigative unit. When ABC reached out to GM, they said they would investigate the incident.
Experts say the lithium-ion batteries in the Volt may be problematic. Lithium-ion batteries contain a flammable liquid. This technology is safe as long as the battery is not defective or pushed passed its limit. Rojas still doesn’t know why her car went up in smoke. She has also gotten the attention of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is evaluating the incident.
Important to Investigate
In such cases, it is critical to take complaints seriously. We are pleased that GM has begun to investigate apparent pressure from journalists. But, it is also important that other agencies such as NHTSA look into what caused the car to go up in smoke and force a safety recall if necessary. Car fires are clearly a safety issue. In the case of these lithium batteries, it may not be clear how they might behave in the event of a crash.
If you or a loved one has been injured from an auto defect, it is important to preserve the vehicle in its crashed state so it can be examined for defects, design flaws and other evidence. Contact an experienced auto defect lawyer who will be able to help you secure maximum compensation for your losses and hold the negligent automakers liable.