The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued an alert for all 2017 to 2019 Chevrolet Bolt owners, following the recent fire in Vermont State Representative Timothy Briglin’s car and another noted in the missive. This is, of course, after two safety recalls for potential fire hazard due to a manufacturing defect in the LG Chem battery packs.
On Wednesday afternoon, the NHTSA officially told used Bolt owners to park their vehicles outside and away from buildings whenever possible, and also recommended that Bolts not be left charging overnight. Both of these recommendations make Bolt ownership annoying at best and impossible at worst. If you drive to work every day and charge every night, a government safety admin is telling you to, um, stop doing that.
An original recall was issued in November of 2020 for potential fire hazard in the high-voltage battery pack. The cells had a small possibility of heating up and igniting internally. It’s possible that the fire inside the battery could spread to the rest of the car, and potentially beyond the car if it is parked near a building, you know, where chargers generally are. That recall affected 50,932 Bolts, and every single one of them is again affected.
NHTSA says it has been made aware of two Bolt EV fires in vehicles that have already received GM’s recall “fix”. It would seem that the fix is potentially not actually a fix.
I’m about the biggest homer for electric cars as there is, but if my EV had a potential fire issue that was supposed to have been fixed with a recall but wasn’t, I’d be a little bit miffed about it. It’s a damn shame that this issue is happening, and I hope that it doesn’t impact anyone else. Fire isn’t something to fuck around with, so if you have a Bolt, please follow these instructions and find another method of getting yourself where you need to go. I know that is much easier said than done, but it’s not worth the risk.