Chevrolet has been facing intense pressure over multiple fires that have occurred in its Bolt electric vehicle. As a result, multiple recalls have been instituted, expanding from limited numbers of Bolt vehicles to encompass the entire fleet. The problem that initiated the recall was at least a dozen of the electric vehicles catching fire.
Even some vehicles that had previous recall applied are known to have caught on fire. Eventually, the problem was narrowed down to a manufacturing defect in the battery packs produced by a GM supplier. The good news for owners of the Bolt EV is that GM has begun replacing battery packs under the recall.
Chevrolet has been clear that the first Bolts to have the battery packs replaced will be cars built during a specific timeframe. The automaker believes defective battery packs are clustered around that timeframe. Eventually, other battery packs will be replaced as well.
The battery replacement takes about two days at the dealership. All new battery packs are covered by an eight-year or 100,000-mile warranty. Along with replacing the battery packs, Chevrolet also has new software that will be released in November for all Bolt models. That software is designed specifically to monitor battery cells for any issues that could indicate a defect.
Chevrolet hopes the software will help it to prioritize any car that requires a battery pack replacement. Until the battery packs are replaced, Chevy has issued guidance for owners of the electric vehicles to park them outdoors and well away from any other vehicles or structures. The cause of the defective battery packs has been linked to a robot on the assembly line at the battery supplier causing problems with placing components inside the battery packs close enough to allow a short, which could lead to a fire.