At least two 2017-2019 Chevrolet Bolts have caught fire, pressing General Motors to issue a second recall of the electric vehicle. The recall covers roughly 110,000 cars around the world, nearly 51,000 of which are in the U.S.
The first fire occurred in Vermont as the vehicle was charging at home, and the second in New Jersey.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, defective battery cell packs may ignite internally and produce smoke. There is a risk of the fire to spread through the vehicle and cause structure damage.
In an official statement released by GM officials alongside representatives from LG Energy Solution, the producer of the problematic battery cells that prompted the recall, the automaker attributes the increased risk of fire to a “rare manufacturing defect.”
In an email to CNBC, GM spokesman Dan Flores said, ““We’re working with our supplier and manufacturing teams to determine how to best expedite battery capacity for module replacement under the recall. These teams are working around the clock on this issue.”
The automaker says that the issue that sparked a previous recall in November required a different fix to this one. The previous fix was largely software related, but fixing the new issue may require a complete replacement of battery modules. GM says recalled vehicles will have their defective battery modules replaced for free.
GM is asking owners of Bolt EVs to limit their vehicle charge at 90% using Hilltop Reserve Mode (2017-2018 models) or Target Charge Level (2019 model). The automaker also is asking Bolt EV owners to not leave their vehicles charging overnight and to keep their battery levels above 70 miles of remaining range.
CNBC reports an undisclosed number of Chevrolet Bolt EVs have been bought back by GM.
GM is asking owners to direct any questions to www.chevy.com/boltevrecall or to their nearest Chevrolet EV dealer.
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