Thursday, June 17, 2021
News GM Issues Chevrolet Bolt Recall Over Potential Fire Risk

GM Issues Chevrolet Bolt Recall Over Potential Fire Risk

2017-2019 Chevrolet Bolt owners are asked to not charge above 90%

  • GM is telling Chevrolet Bolt owners to change the charging setting on their Bolt

  • Five incidents of a fire have been noted so far

  • The battery pack at fault can catch fire when charged over 90 percent


General Motors will recall 70,000 Chevrolet Bolt models because of a potential fire risk.

The recall affects 2017 to 2019 Bolt models and concerns the LG Chem battery pack that, according to GM, can catch fire if charged over 90 percent. So far, five incidents of Bolt EVs catching fire have been noted.

GM said it hasn’t yet identified the cause of the problem, but the company is hoping to find it very soon. The recall doesn’t affect 2020 Chevrolet Bolt models or most of the 2019 versions. Both had a new battery pack built in the US. The LG Chem battery that apparently poses a potential fire risk was built in South Korea.

For now, GM will program affected Bolt to prevent them from charging over 90 percent.

“We believe this action will reduce the risk of a vehicle fire, while we continue working around the clock to identify the root cause,” Chevrolet said, “and we intend to deploy a final solution to restore as much battery capacity as possible, after the first of the year.”

GM is asking Bolt owners to change the charge setting to Hilltop Reserve on 2017 and 2018 models or Target Level Charge on 2019 models. This will set a maximum charge of 90 percent.

If this isn’t possible, Chevrolet is asking Bolt owners to not park in their garage or near the house…

Electric vehicles and more specifically batteries have come under scrutiny for their potential fire risk. A while back a Kona EV destroyed a garage in Quebec, Canada after catching fire while numerous Tesla fires have been catalogued.

There’s still no evidence that electric vehicles pose a higher fire risk than traditional vehicles, but this Bolt recall won’t make the theory go away.

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Charles Jolicoeur
Charles Jolicoeur
Charles Jolicoeur was studying to be a CPA when he decided to drop everything and launch a car website in 2012. Don't ask. The journey has been an interesting one, but today he has co-founded and manages 8 websites including EcoloAuto.com and MotorIllustrated.com as General Manager of NetMedia360. He also sits on the board of the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada. Send me an email

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