General Motors tells Chevy Bolt owners to park outside because batteries could catch fire

Common Motors is telling house owners of some older Chevrolet Bolts to park them open air and to not cost them in a single day as a result of two of the electrical automobiles caught hearth after recall repairs have been made.

The corporate mentioned Wednesday that the request covers 2017 by way of 2019 Bolts that have been a part of a bunch that was recalled earlier as a result of fires within the batteries.

The newest request comes after two Bolts that had gotten recall repairs caught hearth, one in Vermont and the opposite in New Jersey, GM spokesman Kevin Kelly mentioned.

House owners ought to take the steps “out of an abundance of warning,” he mentioned. The steps ought to be continued till GM engineers examine and develop a restore, he mentioned.

The automobiles ought to be parked open air after charging is full, GM mentioned in a press release. “We’re shifting as rapidly as we are able to to analyze this difficulty,” the corporate mentioned.

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Vermont State Rep. Tim Briglin, whose 2019 Bolt caught hearth, mentioned he drove it to work and again dwelling in Thetford, Vermont, on June 30, depleting the battery to round 10% of its vary. He plugged it right into a 240-volt out of doors charger round 8 p.m. and left the Bolt in his driveway after the automotive messaged that it could be totally recharged by 4 a.m.

Round 6:30 a.m. the following day, he noticed smoke coming from the rear of the automotive and known as the fireplace division. Volunteer firefighters arrived inside 10 minutes and extinguished the blaze with loads of water, however stayed for one more three hours, utilizing an infrared digital camera to verify the battery temperature did not improve and the fireplace did not restart, he mentioned. Nothing aside from some close by vegetation have been broken, he mentioned.

Briglin mentioned he had the recall repairs executed on June 9, and charged his Bolt to 100% of its battery capability the morning of the fireplace, he mentioned.

Briglin mentioned he’s completely happy GM is taking the motion, as a result of he is heard from Bolt house owners who did not know what to do due to the current fires. “I’ve had an incredible expertise with it, however on the identical time, an sad ending for this Bolt,” he mentioned.

GM, he mentioned, plans to search out him a 2021 or 2022 mannequin to switch his, which was a complete loss.

Reviews of a number of battery fires

In April, GM introduced that it had developed diagnostic software program to search for anomalies within the batteries of 69,000 Bolts worldwide. If issues are discovered, the corporate will exchange defective components of the battery. Kelly mentioned house owners who have not had the recall repairs executed ought to nonetheless take their automobiles to sellers to get the fixes.

In November, GM recalled the electrical automobiles after getting experiences of a number of battery fires. Two individuals suffered smoke inhalation and a home was set ablaze.

At first the corporate did not know what was responsible for the issue, but it surely decided that batteries that caught hearth have been close to a full cost. In order a short lived repair, house owners and sellers have been instructed to make software program adjustments to restrict charging to 90% of a battery’s capability.

GM traced the fires to what it known as a uncommon manufacturing defect in battery modules. It might probably trigger a brief in a cell, which may set off a fireplace. Underneath the treatment, sellers have been to put in software program designed to warn house owners of issues, and any faulty cells have been to get replaced.

Every Bolt has 288 battery cells, and engineers labored to research knowledge from a whole lot of hundreds of cells, the corporate mentioned.

The recall got here after the U.S. Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration opened an investigation into the fires final yr. The company mentioned in paperwork that the fires started underneath the rear seat whereas the automobiles have been parked and unattended.

Park automobiles open air

In a press release Wednesday, the protection company additionally urged individuals to park the automobiles open air and away from buildings.

“Autos ought to be parked outdoors no matter whether or not the interim or remaining recall cures have been accomplished, the company mentioned.

Engineers decided the fires occurred in Bolts with battery cells made at an LG Chem manufacturing facility in Ochang, South Korea, from Might of 2016 to Might of 2019.

Some 2019 Bolts and all 2020 and 2021 variations have cells made at an LG Chem plant in Holland, Michigan, and will not be included within the recall.

As soon as the ultimate recall repairs are made, the Bolts’ full vary might be restored. Older Bolts can go about 238 miles (383 kilometers) per cost.

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The Chevy Bolt is the corporate’s solely mass-market totally electrical car. The automaker is betting massive on batteries and is planning to launch 30 new electrical automobiles throughout a variety of value factors within the subsequent five years. The corporate mentioned it plans to cease making gas-powered cars by 2035.

GM unveiled its first totally electrical Hummer, the GMC Hummer EV electrical pickup truck, in a splashy video reveal in October 2020. It sold out its first yr’s price of vans in lower than three days. 

Electrical automobiles account for two% of automobiles on U.S. roads, based on CBS Information Transportation Correspondent Kris Van Cleave. A part of President Biden’s infrastructure invoice would assist individuals purchase greener electrical automobiles, that are dearer.


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