2017-2019 Chevy Bolt EV recalled for battery fire risk

November 17, 2020

General Motors is recalling the 2017-2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV because the battery could catch fire when it's fully charged, the automaker announced last week. 

The recall encompasses 50,925 Bolt EVs in the U.S., or 68,667 worldwide. If the battey is charged to full or near capacity, the battery could smoke or emit heat, and melt or damage the battery and other components, GM said in paperwork filed with the NHTSA. GM reported 12 fire-related cases in the 2017-2019 Bolt, with five of them directly attributable to the battery issue. 

The affected vehicles have battery packs made by LG Chem in South Korea, Green Car Reports reported. Bolt EVs manufactured through the middle of the 2019 model year used battery packs supplied by LG Chem cells made in Holland, Michigan, and are not part of the recall. The 2020 Bolt EV is not affected either. 

GM is not sure of the reason for the fires, but instructed owners to get a software update at dealerships to limit the Bolt's maximum state of charge to 90%. A stop-sale order has been issued to dealers. Until then, GM asks owners to enable either "Hilltop Reserve" in 2017-2018 models or "Target Charge Level" in 2019 models through the infotainment system. Those modes will automatically limit charging to 90%. This may shave about 25 miles off the EPA-rated 239 miles of range. GM also urges owners to park outside until the software update is complete.

The software update is available now, and owners will be notified within the week. For more info, including a video on how to activate the settings to limit the charge level to 90%, visit Chevrolet's recall page. Alternatively, owners can contact the Bolt EV Concierge Team at 1-833-382-4389 and reference recall number N202311730.

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