GM is asking owners of 69,000 Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles to park outside and away from structures, and avoid charging them overnight, after 2 vehicles that were repaired in a previous recall caught on fire.
In a Safety Update, GM said it is asking “owners of 2017-2019 Chevrolet Bolt EVs who were part of the recall population to park their vehicles outdoors immediately after charging and not leave their vehicles charging overnight.”
The warning applies to the 2017, 2018, and 2019 model-year Bolts that were previously recalled in November 2020 due to battery fires.
At the time, there were 5 reports of Chevrolet Bolt EVs catching on fire when the vehicles were parked and unattended. Two people suffered injuries related to smoke-inhalation and one fire spread to a home.
Instead of replacing the batteries, GM offered a software update that maxed out the battery at 90% to avoid overheating until a permanent solution could be developed. It also reduced the cars’ driving range.
One of the Bolts that caught on fire after the software update was owned by Vermont State Rep. Tim Briglin, whose 2019 Bolt was “repaired” on June 9, and caught on fire on June 30, 2021.
Briglin said he plugged the vehicle into a 240-volt outdoor charger in his driveway at around 8 p.m. with 20% battery charge left. At around 6:30 a.m. the next day, he saw smoke coming from the vehicle.
Until the vehicles can be fully repaired, GM is asking owners to charge the vehicles and park outside after charging is complete. “We are moving as quickly as we can to investigate this issue,” GM said.