Chevy Bolt vehicles are being recalled en masse as General Motors recognizes a fire risk.

All of the approximately 140,000 Chevy Bolt cars and SUVs are subject to the recall, which was announced by General Motors on August 20, 2021. The recall concerns their lithium ion batteries. In November 2020, GM received reports of five Bolts catching fire, including two that caused injuries and one that caused a house fire. Since then, the number has risen to 10.

The company swiftly traced the problem to batteries catching fire while plugged in, when nearing a full charge. They said it was a rare defect in manufacturing, but recalled first all models prior to 2019.

In July, a newer model in Arizona, one not subject to the previous recall, caught fire while charging, prompting GM to expand the recall to all Bolts.

Owners of the recalled Bolts are to bring them into a GM dealership, where the defective battery modules will be replaced. Owners who have not yet brought in their vehicles should keep from fully charging their Bolt, and should park them outdoors while charging according to GM. Delays may happen, as the batteries are currently in limited supply. The replacement batteries will all come with a new eight-year, 100,000 mile warranty.

The recall is expected to cost General Motors approximately $1.8 billion in all, for which they will seek reimbursement from LG, the company that makes GM’s battery modules. GM has said they will temporarily halt production and sale of new Bolts until it is satisfied the issue will not recur.

General Motors sells approximately 3 million vehicles in a normal year, of which Bolts are only a tiny percentage, but they are an important part of GM’s plan to be selling only electric vehicles by 2035. Their goals put them in line with upcoming regulations in some states, such as Washington state, which is working on legislation to heavily penalize any sale of non-electric vehicles after 2030.

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