Chevrolet Bolt catches fire right after Chevy announce fix for battery fires

The irony

Electric vehicles occasionally catch fire. It doesn't happen very often, statistically speaking, but it does happen and that's one of the reasons that consumers who remain skeptical about EVs often cite. This Chevrolet Bolt was the latest electric car to self-combust, causing damage to the garage it was parked in while amazingly leaving the adjacent house intact and fortunately no one was seriously injured. It happened in Ashburn, Virginia on May 1, around 11 in the morning. The irony is that just a week prior to the incident, GM had announced a permanent fix for this problem.

Gas cars - especially old cars - can catch fire as well, but this usually happens when the gasoline that's flowing around comes in contact with active electrical sparks. By contrast, electric cars catch fire because they accumulate staggering amounts of densely-stored energy.

The company had to recall 68,667 Bolts to solve this problem and GM spokesperson Dan Flores said that “rare manufacturing defect in certain battery modules in vehicles from these production years [2017, 2018, 2019]" led to the fires. He added that this defect might cause “a heat source or a short in a cell, which could propagate into a fire.”

Jesse Ortega, GM's chief engineer, released a note to explain how to mitigate the risk until the fix becomes available for every model.

"If you have a 2017 or 2018 Bolt you should use the Hilltop Reserve mode until there’s a fix," Ortega said. He also added that parking your Bolt outside your garage is advisable.

Have you had any personal experience with product recalls?

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Comments (34)

  • If you know what i mean 😜😂

      1 month ago
    • 1 month ago
  • My bother-in-law was a 'nuke' in the Navy. He's KNOWS electricity. He found out about GM using an unshielded lithium battery and contacted them. He explained to the engineers that water + Lithium = BOOM. Not sure they got it right.

      1 month ago
  • I had my company's Clio IV recalled once in 2014 - it was year old, around 20k on the clock - something with brakes, as precaution... Solved, no real hassle.

      1 month ago
  • There’s Chevy for you

      1 month ago