The company said that all bolt EV models must now be recalled – including those of the latest vintages. The Bolt was the first battery-only electric vehicle built in large numbers by the Americans, who plan to electrify a large proportion of their passenger cars and SUVs in the future.
In addition to the almost 69 vehicles previously ordered for repair.000 e-cars built between 2017 and 2019, which means that approximately 73.000 newer models added. The manufacturer put the additional costs at around one billion dollars (about 850 million euros). Most of the affected vehicles were sold in the u.s., the rest in canada.
Warning: do not charge e-cars in garages
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has repeatedly warned owners not to park their cars in garages or near homes because of the risk of battery fires. For GM, the matter is extremely costly – in the most recent quarter, bolt-eV recalls had already cost the company $800 million.
130 km/h is already too much: what we have to get used to with e-cars
GM had already launched a recall for the first time in november 2020 to fix the problem. But the U.S. Transportation Department issued a new warning about the fire hazard. Despite repairs already made, NHTSA says there have been other instances of bolt models catching fire.
The recalls also affected the bolt’s German sister model, the opel ampera-e. Compared to the bolt, however, significantly fewer e-opels were sold. According to the German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA), just under 10.000 ampera-e of the 2016 to 2019 model years due to "fire hazard of the faulty high-voltage battery in the area of full charging capacity" recalled. Following its separation from general motors, opel is building its new electric vehicles such as the corsa-e in collaboration with its new owner, the French PSA group.
LG chem built batteries for GM – and also for VW
The batteries in the Chevrolet Bolt are made by LG Chem of South Korea. The company produces batteries for numerous manufacturers, including volkswagen. The new VW ID.3 made headlines just a few days ago, also because of a fire: a brand-new Stromer burned down after charging. The driver was able to rescue her child from the car just in time before it burned down . VW did not comment on the incident when asked by FOCUS online.
Korean manufacturer hyundai also has massive technical problems with its e-cars. Because of the risk of fire, the company has had to recall the batteries in more than 80 of its vehicles.000 cars to be replaced, including the compact electric SUV hyundai kona.
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Federal government wants to "collect more data
In response to a question from the FDP parliamentary group on fire safety in e-cars, the federal government stated that "currently no higher fire hazard potential than for vehicles with conventional internal combustion engines" exist. As things stand, this affects the overall risk of fire, but not firefighting. This is because the process is much more complex, due to toxic fumes from the batteries and an enormous water requirement, among other things. Because extinguished batteries can reignite for days, some fire departments immerse vehicles in containers filled with water soap. This applies not only to electric cars, but also to plug-in hybrids.