GM expands battery-fire recall to Chevy Bolt EUV, every Bolt EV made

General Motors has expanded the recall of Chevrolet Bolt EV models due to battery-related fire concerns—to include 2019-2021 Bolt EV models and new 2022 Bolt EV and EUV models. 

GM just earlier this week confirmed that it planned to replace all battery modules on affected 2017-2019 Bolt EV models, subject to be adjusted after an additional investigation. It’s now expecting to do the same with the rest of the Bolt EV population, including models recently delivered and those in dealer inventories. 

Both issues are related to the same two potential battery defects, stemming from reports of fires when Bolt EV vehicles had been plugged in and or recently charged to full. The Bolt EV and EUV models use cells made by LG Chem in South Korea through mid 2019, and then Holland, Michigan from mid-2019 on. GM had previously said that the so-called “design level N2.1” made in Michigan were unaffected; it hasn’t yet disclosed whether it’s aware of instances of fire with the newer cells. 

Chevrolet Bolt EV fire - Vermont State Police

Chevrolet Bolt EV fire - Vermont State Police

GM now recommends that until customers receive new battery modules, they should set their vehicle to a maximum 90 percent state of charge, charge their vehicle more frequently and not allow it below 70 miles of range, and park the vehicle outside immediately after charging. Reiterating a previous caution, GM warns against charging the vehicle inside the garage overnight. 

Between the two recall efforts, GM could potentially be replacing all the battery modules—or full packs, as it may turn out—in more than 140,000 Bolt EVs in North America, of which more than 110,000 are in the U.S. 

2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV review update - Portland OR

2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV review update - Portland OR

The previous recall effort for 2017-2019 models covered 68,667 Bolt EVs, including 50,925 in the U.S. The expanded recall adds 63,683 Bolt EVs from the 2020-2022 model year (52,403 in the U.S.), plus 9,335 Bolt EVs from the 2019 model year (6,989 in the U.S.) that weren’t covered by the previous effort. 

The expanded recall would cost the company $1 billion more than what had been spent on previous Bolt recall efforts, and it stated today that it will seek reimbursement from LG Chem, the cell supplier.

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV

GM and LG Chem are close business partners, with the companies’ Ultium Cells LLC joint venture set to supply GM electric vehicles through the decade and beyond, with a total of four battery factories in the works. 

Customers are to contact 1-833-EVCHEVY or their dealership with questions, or check the Bolt EV recall page for more information.

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