General Motors has announced an auto defect recall for about 68,000 of its Chevy Bolt all-electric hatchbacks for the second time in less than a year because of a potential fire risk. According to a report in the Detroit Free Press, the company announced the recall after two Bolts caught fire without impact recently. GM is now confirming that at least one of the Bolt fires was battery-related and happened despite the owner getting the required fix from the first recall.
Details of the Recall
The recall involves all 2017-2019 model-year Bolts. The vehicles contain high-voltage batteries produced at LG Chem’s Ochang, South Korea facility. Experts from GM and LG say they’ve identified the simultaneous presence of two rare manufacturing defects in the same battery cell as the root cause of battery fires in certain Chevy Bolt EVs.
As part of this recall, GM will replace defective battery modules in the recalled vehicles and notify consumers when the replacement parts are ready. GM is asking owners of the recalled cars not to park them in garages until the automaker can get parts to dealers and people can get their vehicles in for the repairs. GM has also made the following recommendations for owners:
- Return the vehicle to the 90% state of charge limitation using Hilltop Reserve mode or Target Charge Level mode (depending on the model).
- Charge the vehicle after each use instead of depleting the battery below 70 miles of the remaining range.
- Park the vehicle outside soon after charging, and do not leave it charging overnight.
These guidelines are designed to prevent disastrous fires before the fix can be made.
In November, GM issued the first recall for the 2017-2019 model year Bolts because the vehicles potentially posed a fire risk at the time. GM said it found five vehicles where batteries caught fire without any impact. Two people reportedly suffered smoke inhalation injuries.
Auto Product Liability Issues
There is no question that vehicle fires can have horrific consequences. They can result in burn injuries and smoke inhalation and cause property damage, both of which could be catastrophic or even fatal.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective auto, it is essential that you contact an experienced auto defect lawyer who can help you seek compensation for damages, including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitation, pain, and suffering, and emotional distress.