Chevrolet Replacing Thousands Of Bolt Batteries Over Fire Risk

Electric Vehicles / Comments

Owners are already being notified.

This all began just over a year ago when a Chevrolet Bolt EV suddenly and unexpectedly caught on fire. At first, the automaker attempted to downplay the incident as a one-off situation, only it wasn't. There had been other similar incidents and a pattern was emerging. Fast-forward to earlier this month when the automaker announced a huge and very pricey recall to address the Bolt's problem: its lithium-ion battery.

The Detroit Free Press has confirmed that General Motors has begun mailing out recall notices to some 68,600 owners globally. A company spokesperson said the repairs, which involve replacing the entire battery module, will get underway this month. "The recalled vehicles have battery packs that include five lithium-ion modules," the spokesperson said. "We are replacing the vehicles' lithium-ion battery modules with new lithium-ion battery modules."

2017-2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV Front View Chevrolet
2017-2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV Left Rear Angle In Motion Chevrolet
2017-2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV Side View Chevrolet

This is not to be mistaken with two separate Bolt recalls; the first was last November and the second was issued earlier this summer for certain other 2017-2019 models. However, that was only to replace defective battery modules, not all of them, which is what's being done now. The entire battery pack, however, is not being replaced.

"A battery pack is made up of many individual components including the case, some electronics, wiring, battery modules among other things. We will be replacing the five lithium ion battery modules within the battery pack," the GM official added. "The battery pack case, wiring and other components are not defective and do not need replacing."

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2017-2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV Interior Overview Chevrolet
2017-2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV Front Seats Chevrolet
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A major investigation involving GM and battery manufacturer LG Chem engineers revealed two production defects in a high-voltage battery cell which led to the fires. Fixing all of these Bolts will take some time and owners have every right to be concerned about what to do until that happens. That's why GM recommends for owners to do the following: return the vehicle to a 90 percent state of charge limitation using Hilltop Reserve mode or Target Charge Level mode.

Charge the car after every use and don't let the battery drop below 70 miles of remaining charge. Lastly, park the car outside after charging instead of inside the garage. An official recall website with these instructions and other details has been created for further assistance.

2017-2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV Charge Port Chevrolet
2017-2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV Front View Chevrolet
2017-2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV Front View Chevrolet
Source Credits: Detroit Free Press

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