GM Recalls About 69,000 Chevrolet Bolt EVs Worldwide Due To Battery-fire Risk

General Motors said that it will recall 2017-2019 model-year Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles with high voltage batteries produced at LG Chem’s Ochang, South Korea facility that may pose a risk of fire when charged to full, or very close to full, capacity.

The company is reportedly recalling about 69,000 Chevrolet Bolt EVs worldwide.

The recall affects 50,932 Chevrolet Bolt vehicles in the United States for the potential of an unattended fire in the high-voltage battery pack underneath the back seat’s bottom cushion. The affected vehicles’ cell packs have the potential to smoke and ignite internally, which could spread to the rest of the vehicle and cause a structure fire if parked inside a garage or near a house, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a statement.

The NHTSA has also confirmed five known fires with two injuries; at least one of the fires spread from the vehicle and ignited a home.

The NHTSA warned that the vehicles could catch fire even if they are turned off, parked, and disconnected from a charging unit.

Meanwhile, General Motors said it will provide its dealers with a software update beginning November 17 that will limit the charge for all the vehicles in the population to 90% while it continues to investigate the cause of those incidents.

The company is asking owners to change the vehicle charge settings that will limit the charge capacity to 90% and reduce the risk of fire.

“If you are unable to successfully make these changes, or do not feel comfortable making these changes, we ask you to not park your car in your garage or carport until after you have visited your dealer,” General Motors said in a statement.

The company has recommended scheduling a service appointment with dealership beginning November 17th to update the vehicle’s battery software to automatically limit the maximum state of charge to 90 percent.

The company also said its engineers are working around the clock to identify a permanent fix and it plans to deploy a final remedy to remove the 90% limitation as quickly as possible after the first of the year, 2021.

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