The dependability of Chevy’s Bolt EV may have just taken another hit following a recent warning from GM asking Bolt owners to refrain from charging their cars while unattended or parking their EVs inside.
The warning was issued earlier this week “out of an abundance of caution” after two Bolt vehicles caught fire following repairs that (somewhat ironically) were intended to address a recall from 2020 regarding a battery defect that posed a fire risk in Chevy’s Bolt EVs.
GM says the warning pertains to Bolt EVs from 2017 to 2019 that were subject to the original recall in which some batteries produced by LG Chem were found to have the potential to catch on fire when charged to full or near full capacity. One of GM’s original fixes for the Bolt’s fire risk was to develop new software that capped charging at 90%, which GM says fully mitigates the risk of fire.
As part of the ongoing recall, GM has also been servicing Bolt EV’s by checking and replacing “battery module assemblies as necessary,” along with installing new onboard diagnostic software. Unfortunately, it seems these repairs may not have fully addressed the issue now that two cars that had been recently serviced caught on fire.
GM says that any Bolt EV owners who had not already brought their vehicles in to be serviced should still visit a local dealer while GM continues its investigation.
The bigger issue is that even if the recent Bolt EVs battery fires are only limited to a handful of cases, warning people not to charge their cars while unattended or park them indoors eliminates much of the convenience you get from owning an EV. Depending on what kind of charger you use, it can take up to 9.5 hours or longer to fully recharge a Bolt.
Meanwhile, for anyone who owns a garage, the request by GM to park Bolt EVs outside suddenly makes an important part of their house much less useful.
If you’re a Bolt owner and have yet to contact GM/Chevy or your local dealer, GM says you should visit Chevy’s recall site here for more info.