GM warned owners not to charge their cars overnight after two Bolt EVs caught fire.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a consumer alert this week, telling more than 50,000 Chevy Bolt owners to park their vehicles outdoors “until further notice”. While the car has been under recall since November 2020, two vehicles that had the repair work done caught fire. One such owner was Vermont state representative Timothy Briglin, who noticed his smoke coming from his car after fully recharging it on a 240-volt outlet overnight.
“Out of an abundance of caution,” GM sent out in an emailed statement, “we are 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 while we investigate these incidents.” The NHTSA noted battery cell packs within the vehicle could smoke then ignite internally, quickly spreading the fire through the vehicle.
The agency’s own investigation in October 2020 cited three Bolts — a 2017, 2018 and 2019 model respectively — in which “fire damage appeared to be concentrated in the EV battery compartment area with penetration into the passenger compartment from under the rear seat. GM still encourages affected owners to have the recall repairs done at their dealer, if they haven’t already, while the company looks into the issue.
2020 and 2021 model year Bolts are not included in the recall campaign. The revised 2022 Bolt EV and Bolt EUV, shown below, are also not impacted by the issue.