Another day, more guidance from GM about the flammable Chevy Bolt EVs. What has this week brought for Bolt owners? A warning to park away from others. The official warnings now state not to charge above 90%, not to drive below 70 miles of range, don’t park indoors, by another car, in a parking garage, or unattended. Anything else?
GM warns Chevy Bolt owners to park far away
Chevy released official Bolt Recall instructions a while back but has not updated the page since. More Bolts have spontaneously combusted since GM released the instructions, but the official page does not reflect the new information. According to an article from Reuters, GM has offered new guidance.
This updated information urges Chevy Bolt EV and EUV owners to park 50 feet from other parked cars in an outdoor area. However, this is easier said than done. Owners in urban areas or living in apartments/condos don’t have as many parking options. And for those who park on the streets? Where should these Bolts go? GM suggests parking on top of a parking garage or another open area.
Reuters cites an email from GM to current Bolt owners says the precaution would “reduce potential damage to structures and nearby vehicles in the rare event of a potential fire.”
How long are Chevy Bolt owners going to jump through hoops?
Chevy noted that owners should “Park your vehicle outside immediately after charging and do not leave your vehicle charging indoors overnight” in the recall. How many more hoops will Bolt owners have to jump through before GM makes some helpful moves? Every few days, there is new guidance for owners on how to deal with the potential fires.
The information provided to owners tells those using Hilltop Reserve mode (for 2017-2018 model years not to charge over 90%. Those using Target Charge Level (for 2019-2022 model years) should do the same. Owners should not go below 70 miles state of charge when possible. Then, park outside, park 50 feet away from others, and don’t leave your Bolt charging overnight. It was also suggested not to leave the vehicle alone while charging. Owning a Chevy Bolt EV or Bolt EUV has become a full-time job.
The problems aren’t over yet, for the owners or the company
GM is suing the battery maker, LG Chem, over the issues, but what are owners supposed to do? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed that the first 13 fires are associated with battery issues. The NHTSA has not yet verified the three most recent fires.
The automaker has already halted production on the new Chevy Bolt EV while the problem persists. So far, the fires have cost GM almost $1.8 billion, and there’s been no solution yet. That number is likely to increase exponentially. Owners are requesting a buyback of the flammable vehicle, but GM has not agreed to that yet.
This situation can potentially impact the move to electric vehicles currently taking place in the U.S. GM has the opportunity to turn the situation around with a buyback or other incentives. Still, for now, Chevy Bolt EV and EUV owners are left looking for answers.