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NHTSA warns of fire hazard with certain Chevy Bolt EVs

“The affected vehicles’ cell packs have the potential to smoke and ignite internally, which could spread to the rest of the vehicle and cause a structure fire if parked inside a garage or near a house,” the administration said.

The NHTSA indicated the vehicles at risk are part of a November 2020 recall that affected more than 50,900 Chevrolet Bolts with a model year of between 2017 and 2019. It said it was aware of two fires related to the Chevy Bolt EV.

General Motors, which produces the Chevy Bolt, said it was aware of two Bolt EV fires that were part of a November 2020 recall.

“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,” GM said in a statement.

The company added that “customers who have not had the remedy completed should still visit their dealer for the recall remedy while our investigation continues.”

The Bolt is GM (GM)‘s only EV sold in the United States. Its second quarter US sales jumped 350% from a year ago. But it is still a niche vehicle, accounting for less than 2% of GM’s US sales. However, the automaker has committed to switching from traditional gasoline cars to nothing but emission-free vehicles by 2035.
By all indications, electric car battery fires remain infrequent occurrences, even compared to gasoline and diesel fires. But they get attention because electric vehicle technology is still considered relatively new.

– Chris Isidore and Peter Valdes-Dapena contributed to this report

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