The Vermont State Police released this photo of the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV that caught fire on July 1, 2021 in the driveway of state Rep. Timothy Briglin, a Democrat.
Vermont State Police
General Motors is telling owners of 2017-2019 Bolt EVs that were part of a recent recall not to park their vehicles inside or charge them unattended overnight after two of the vehicles caught fire.
The two Bolt EVs were repaired as part of a recall of nearly 69,000 of the vehicles that were flagged for fire risks. The recall was initially announced in November by GM and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
One of the fires occurred while the vehicle was charging at the home of a Vermont state lawmaker earlier this month. The other fire happened in New Jersey, a spokesman for GM said, adding that it was notified about it earlier this week.
“General Motors has been notified of two recent Chevrolet Bolt EV fire incidents in vehicles that were remedied as part of the safety recall announced in November 2020,” the company said in an emailed statement. “Out of an abundance of caution, we are asking owners of 2017-2019 Chevrolet Bolt EVs who were part of the recall population to park their vehicles outdoors immediately after charging and not leave their vehicles charging overnight while we investigate these incidents.”
The NHTSA on Wednesday said battery cell packs in the impacted vehicles have the potential to smoke and ignite internally, which could spread to the rest of the vehicle and cause a structure fire if the vehicle is parked inside a garage or near a house.
Customers who have not had the repair completed should still visit their dealer for the recall while the investigation continues, according to the automaker.
“At GM, safety is our highest priority, and we are moving as quickly as we can to investigate this issue,” GM said.
The NHTSA in October opened an investigation into three reported fires involving Chevrolet Bolt EVs. The automaker is cooperating with the federal vehicle safety agency, a GM spokesman said.
Another Bolt EV that caught fire was reported by media outlets in May, but not all the recall repairs had been conducted on that vehicle.
GM said it’s bought back some of the recalled vehicles but declined to say how many. Automakers often buy back recalled vehicles to appease unhappy customers and avoid triggering state lemon laws and litigation.