General Motors is recalling tens of thousands of Chevrolet Bolt vehicles after the company became aware of “five fires involving the cars” that resulted in two injuries from smoke inhalation.
A notice was issued on Saturday for 50,932 of the vehicles in the U.S. dating from 2017 to 2019. General Motors said the battery could “catch fire when charged to full or nearly full capacity,” according to Bloomberg. In total, the measure covers about 69,000 Bolt vehicles, according to WSJ.
As a temporary fix, the company is reprogramming its battery’s “hybrid propulsion control module 2” to only allow charging to 90%. The company is exploring a permanent solution to the problem.
In the interim, GM says owners shouldn’t park their cars in their garages until having them re-programmed. While the company is still investigating the cause of the fires, it noted that the batteries were all near a full charge in each instance.
GM says it is performing its own internal investigation and cooperating with federal regulators regarding the recall.
As the WSJ notes, other EVs manufactured by companies like Hyundai Motor Co., Ford Motor Co. and BMW have each issued recalls for battery powered models in recent months. Most of these recalls were due to quality issues at the companies’ respective battery suppliers.
GM noted that its Bolt batteries were produced at the same LG Chem factory in Korea between 2016 and 2019. Bolts with batteries made at another LG Chem factory, in Michigan, don’t appear to be affected.
Aside from the numerous examples of EVs (mostly Teslas) we have documented spontaneously combusting, Tesla also begrudgingly issued a recent recall of its own for 30,000 Model S and Model X vehicles in China due to suspension issues.