Paul Sancya / AP
DETROIT (AP) – General Motors is recalling for the second time certain older Chevrolet Bolts to address persistent battery issues that can set electric cars on fire.
Until repairs are done, GM says owners should park cars outside, limit charging to 90% of battery capacity, and not deplete batteries below 70 miles of range. The company says Bolts should not be loaded overnight and should be parked outside immediately after loading.
The second recall comes after two bolts that had been repaired in a previous recall caught fire, one in Vermont and the other in New Jersey. It covers around 69,000 bolts worldwide as of 2017, 2018 and part of the 2019 model year. All of them have batteries made by LG Chem in South Korea.
The recall is another bug in the growing global deployment of electric vehicles by all automakers to replace internal combustion vehicles in order to reduce emissions and fight climate change. Ford, BMW and Hyundai have all recalled batteries recently. In addition, the United States National Transportation Safety Board investigated a series of fires in Tesla vehicles and said earlier this year that high-voltage lithium-ion batteries pose safety risks to first responders after crashes. accidents.
GM said in a statement Friday that faulty Bolt batteries can have two rare manufacturing defects in the same cell at the same time. As a result, GM will now replace all faulty battery modules and possibly the entire battery pack.
Spokesman Dan Flores said engineers were still working around the clock to find the fault in the battery and what the repairs would be. He said GM doesn’t know how long it will take to develop the fix. The number of defective bolts is likely to be low, Flores said.
The previous recall announced in April did not completely resolve the issue. It was diagnostic software designed to look for battery anomalies. If it finds one, GM has said it will replace the faulty parts.
Certain 2019 bolts and those for the 2020 and 2021 model years are not affected. Their batteries were manufactured by LG in Holland, Michigan.
“We understand that the previous recall and this recall are causing significant inconvenience to our customers,” said Flores. “We appreciate their patience and understand their frustration.”
GM will deal with customer complaints about inconvenience and the lower travel range on a case-by-case basis, he said.
The company says owners who haven’t had the first recall repairs done should still take their cars to dealerships for the repairs.
The first recall came after the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched an investigation into the fires last year. The agency said in a statement Friday that it was assessing GM’s recall repairs and the fires.
Once the final recall repairs have been completed, the full Bolts lineup will be restored. Older bolts can travel approximately 238 miles (383 kilometers) per charge.