There’s more bad news for Chevrolet Bolt owners. General Motors says some owners of the recalled electric vehicle (EV) should not only leave the cars parked outside, they should keep them at least 50 feet from other vehicles.
The reason is a risk of fire caused by two defects in the battery that powers the car. The defects are behind the recall of 142,000 of the EVs sold since 2016. In August, GM added 73,000 vehicles sold in the U.S. and Canada to the recall list. The company previously recalled 69,000 2017-2019 models.
The late August recall was triggered by two reports of Bolt battery fires in vehicles that had already received a repair. In late July, GM engineers said they had identified a second “rare manufacturing defect” that increases the vehicles’ risk of catching fire. Although officials didn’t say exactly what the defects are, it said the problem stems from the cells that make up the Bolt’s battery pack.
All Bolts covered by recall
“With this expansion, all Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles are now recalled due to the risk of the high-voltage battery pack catching fire,” the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a statement at the time. “The recall applies to all Bolt vehicles, including those that may have received an earlier recall repair for the fire risk issue.”
GM says it is currently working with its battery supplier, LG Corp., to repair or replace the battery packs. Until then, it has warned owners of the recalled vehicles to take the following precautions:
Park the vehicles outside a safe distance from structures
Limit battery charges to 90% capacity
Recharge more frequently to so that the battery does not drop below 70 miles of range
Park at least 50 feet from other vehicles
GM says the battery defect is rare, but the company has confirmed at least 10 fires caused by overheating batteries.