GM warns not to park Chevy Bolt EVs indoors after two recently caught fire

The Bolt's battery problems continue.

Roberto Baldwin / Engadget

Owners of 2017 to 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EVs should not park their cars indoors or leave them to charge overnight unattended, according to a safety alert issued by The National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA). The warning comes after two Bolt EVs included in GM’s 2020 recall of the vehicle caught fire recently. One blaze happened outside the home of a Vermont state legislator at the start of the month, while the other occurred in New Jersey.

“At GM, safety is our highest priority, and we are moving as quickly as we can to investigate this issue,” a spokesperson for the automaker told CNBC. According to NHTSA, the batteries in the vehicles included in the safety warning can smoke and catch fire.

In the US, GM recalled nearly 51,000 Bolt EVs. The company pushed an update to those cars that limited their batteries to 90 percent of a full charge. More recently, GM said it would install diagnostic software on those cars to prevent future fires. It also promised to assess and replace batteries that featured any “anomalies.” Notably, at the same time, it also removed the charging cap it had implemented when it originally recalled the Bolt.

Part of the reason the ongoing reports of Bolt fires are a cause for concern is due to the fact the 2017 to 2019 models use the same cells at the center of a similar issue with the Hyundai Kona. Both companies sourced the batteries for those vehicles from LG Chem. Last year, Hyundai recalled 25,564 Kona EVs after more than a dozen incidents of fire and then later went on to replace the batteries in 75,680 vehicles.

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