Chevrolet Bolt EV recalled again over battery fire concerns
Following guidance to owners telling them to charge and park their Bolt EVs outside, GM needs these electric cars back again to solve the problem for good.
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
It's not a good day for General Motors, nor Chevrolet Bolt EV owners. On Friday, the automaker officially issued a second recall for a group of Bolt EVs from the 2017-2019 model years plagued with battery cell manufacturing defects. These vehicles already went in for a fix, but in the wake of new fires the company is aiming to fix the batteries for good -- by replacing them.
The automaker said it will replace defective battery modules or owners will receive an entirely new battery pack at no charge after previous updates were not "100% effective at addressing the safety risk in all vehicles." GM also updated the cars with software capping charges at 90%, as the battery fires appeared to occur in Bolt EVs charged to completion, or near completely. GM still says owners should park their vehicle outside and urged owners to not leave their vehicle plugged in to charge overnight.
The automaker declined to comment beyond the recall announcement.
The vehicles included in the recall population tallies 50,932 and GM confirmed eight fires it's aware of surrounding these battery cell manufacturing defects. The cells for the EV come from South Korea's LG Chem, and specifically, it appears the batteries in question were made in LG Chem's Ochang, Korea facility. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it's aware of one fire with GM's interim fix for the EVs.
Out of a further abundance for caution, GM added a new note for owners of the vehicles aside from capping charge levels at 90%. The automaker said drivers should not deplete the battery below 70 miles and urged drivers to charge the vehicle after each trip to ensure the range doesn't fall below 70 miles.
GM said it does not have a timeline yet for when replacement parts will be ready, and it will send out notices when it's ready to put the recall into motion.
The 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV is a balance of power and practicality