NHTSA closes investigation into Chevy Bolt’s fire issues

Washington, D.C. – February 20, 2022 – The U.S. government closed its investigation into fires among 2017-2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV vehicles. The manufacturer of the vehicles, General Motors (NYSE:GM), has already recalled all of the affected vehicles, as well as 2021-2022 model-years.

Investigation conclusion  

General Motors conducted three recalls to address the reports of fires. Because of this, the regulator concluded in February 2022 that there was no need for additional recalls and closed the investigations. 

The first recall

After receiving two complaints from owners and several field reports, the government auto safety regulator, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) initiated the investigation in October 2020. According to these complaints, a fire would develop inside the passenger cabin, underneath the seats, when the vehicle was parked.

GM was also aware of the incidents and started investigating to discover what was causing them. Based on initial findings, GM concluded fires were caused by an overheating high-voltage battery, which is located under the seat. The fires would happen when the vehicles were charged to “full or nearly full capacity.”

The manufacturer initially addressed the problem by recalling over 50,000 of the 2017-2019 model-years in November 2020 and reprogramming in a way so its high-voltage battery would only charge up to 90% of its capacity.  Later on in the recall, dealers ran diagnostics tests on the batteries to see if they needed replacing.

Subsequent recalls

As this recall was underway, both General Motors and LG, the battery producer, analyzed the data that dealers collected with the tests. They concluded that the repair offered under the last recall was insufficient and that more batteries needed to be replaced.

That prompted GM to recall all the cars included in the previous recall, as well as additional 2017-2019 model-years in July 2021.

By further analyzing the field data that was coming in from the dealers during the second recall, it eventually became apparent that there were more defective batteries.

As a result, General Motors finally recalled all of 2019-2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV vehicles to replace their high voltage batteries

Other Chevrolet recalls 

Apart from these Chevy Bolt fire issues mentioned in the summary, there were no other recent Chevy Bolt recalls. Still, other manufacturers have also faced issues with fires caused by high-voltage batteries. One such example is BMW, which had to recall some of its hybrid vehicles back in September 2020 over a similar problem.

Is your vehicle part of a recall?

This Chevy Bolt battery ire investigation did not result in any new recalls, but your car may need repairs for a different issue. To do a Chevrolet recall check and see if your vehicle is due for any of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Bojan PopicNHTSA closes investigation into Chevy Bolt’s fire issues

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