GM issues new recall on Bolts after more battery fires
Detroit — General Motors Co. is again recalling more than 68,000 Chevrolet Bolt EVs from model years 2017 through 2019 for battery defects that have caused fires, the automaker said Friday.
GM and battery partner LG Energy Solution found the root cause of battery fires on the Bolts to be "the simultaneous presence of two rare manufacturing defects in the same battery cell," GM spokesman Dan Flores said in a statement.
To fix the defects, GM will replace battery hardware where necessary though the actual repair procedure is still being finalized, Flores said. The automaker doesn't believe every Bolt is affected, he added, with so far nine confirmed battery fires, including one that had received the previous recall fix in Vermont.
The new recall notice comes after two previously recalled Bolts that had been repaired caught fire, pushing the automaker to tell consumers last week to park 2017 through 2019 model year Bolts outdoors.
GM says customers should continue to park the Bolts outdoors and is also now advising customers return their vehicles to a 90% max charge level using the vehicle's Hilltop Reserve mode for 2017 and 2018 models and the Target Charge Level for the 2019 model.
Drivers of the affected Bolts should also charge the vehicle after each use and avoid depleting the battery below about 70 miles of range, the automaker advises.
The Detroit automaker first recalled globally 68,667 Bolts manufactured between 2017-2019 last November because of multiple battery fire incidents and told consumers to keep their batteries at a 90% max charge level out of caution.
Friday's recall covers the same population as the November recall, which covered more than 50,900 Bolts in the U.S. It includes all of the Bolts manufactured in the 2017 and 2018 model year and only a portion of the 2019 model year.
This spring, GM's experts concluded there was a "rare manufacturing defect" that caused the fires and developed a remedy for the recall that included the use of "advanced onboard diagnostic software" to find potential issues with the batteries, GM said at the time.
Customers who haven't should go to a dealer for the advanced diagnostics software, GM said Friday, but even with the software they should still limit the max charge to 90%.
Bolt owners with questions or concerns can visit: chevy.com/boltevrecall, contact the Chevrolet EV Concierge 1-833-EVCHEVY or reach out to their preferred Chevrolet EV dealer.