Chevrolet Recalls Bolt Electric Vehicles Second Time for Battery Fire Risk


Chevrolet recalls its Bolt electric vehicles for a second time due to battery fire risk in 2017, 2018 and some 2019 models.

Indeed, lightening doesn’t typically strike twice, but the old adage apparently doesn’t apply to defective batteries in the Chevrolet Bolt Electric Vehicle.

“Experts from GM and (supplier) LG Chem have identified the simultaneous presence of two rare manufacturing defects in the same battery cell as the root cause of battery fires in certain Chevrolet Bolt EVs,” Chevrolet said in a statement on its website.  

Roughly, 50,932 Chevrolet Bolt EV cars previously recalled on November 5, 2020 by General Motors, will be recalled a second time. Specifically, this time it’s for defective battery modules that may lead to a fire.

Reports of Fires in Chevrolet Bolt Vehicles

The vehicles affected include mostly model-year 2017-2018 with some 2019 Bolt EV electric hatchbacks. At least two vehicles that had completed repairs under last year’s recall reported fires, according to Chevrolet. One of the vehicles was located in Vermont and the other in New Jersey, the company said.

Under the original 2020 recall, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation into reports about fires in October 2020. Five fires happened from March 17, 2019 through August 25, 2020.

General Motors reports its Bolt EVs equipped with high-voltage battery packs are affected. These battery packs were produced at LG Chem’s Ochang, South Korea, plant. Also, the packs are installed underneath the bottom backseat cushion. Unfortunately, the batteries have the potential to smoke and could potentially ignite and cause a fire internally when they are at or near full charge. Safety officials warn there is potential for a fire, even if the car is parked or turned off. It may happen even if the vehicle is disconnected from a charging unit. Safety officials warn the car could catch on fire and spread to a structure such as a garage or home.

2021 Chevrolet Bolt Recall

Owners should activate either the Hill Top Reserve in the 2017-18 models or the Target Charge Level in 2019 models. This will limit the charge level to 90%. Also, they should charge their vehicle after each use and avoid depleting the battery to 70 miles range remaining. Finally, it’s advisable to avoid charging the vehicle overnight as well as to park outside after charging.

The automaker intends to either replace just the defective battery modules or possibly, the whole battery pack. General Motors is expected to spend roughly $800 million to fix or replace the batteries the Bolts due to a fire risk. It works out to roughly $11,650 for each vehicle.

Fortunately, some of the 2019 Bolts along with 2020 and 2021 model years Bolts, will not be affected. Those vehicles have batteries made by LG in Holland, Michigan.

Meanwhile, to find out more about Chevrolet recalls and Bolt Electric Vehicles, owners may visit Chevy’s dedicated site, call 833-382-4389. Additionally, they may visit NHTSA’s website.

Finally, find out more about electric vehicle lemons.

California Lemon Law Attorney James Johnson

If you purchased a Chevrolet Bolt Electric Vehicle and you have repeated problems, perhaps it is time to call for help.

California Lemon Law Attorney James Johnson will review your case and let you know if it qualifies as a lemon.

We recommend that you obtain an invoice for all repairs and recall visits from the dealership. These documents will support your potential case. Should the vehicle experience repeated issues or become a safety risk, these documents support the Lemon Law Claim. Contact us for a free case review at 800-558-1087.

James Johnson ESQ