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GM is recalling practically 69,000 Bolt EVs attributable to hearth hazard

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Chevrolet Bolt EV is pictured during the Salao do Automovel International Auto Show media day in Sao Paulo

By Ben Klayman and David Shepardson

DETROIT / WASHINGTON (Reuters) – General Motors Co (N 🙂 announced on Friday that 68,677 electric cars are being recalled worldwide, posing a fire risk after five reported fires and two minor injuries.

The Detroit automaker said it will recall 2017-2019 model year Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles with high voltage batteries made at LG Chem (KS 🙂 plant in Ochang, Korea.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened a preliminary investigation into the Bolt EVs last month after it was reported that three bolts caught fire under the back seat while parked and unattended.

GM said the vehicles pose a fire hazard when charged to full or near full capacity. GM has developed software that limits vehicle charge to 90% of full capacity to minimize risk while GM works to determine the appropriate final repair.

In an incident in Belmont, Massachusetts in March 2019, injuries from smoke inhalation were reported. A bolt caught fire in the driveway and the owner said strong fumes penetrated the house during a three hour fire that required professional cleaning. The owners also reported having a headache from exposure to the smoke.

Dealers will update the vehicle's battery software starting next week. GM said until owners get the dealer's software update they should change charge settings to enable either Hilltop Reserve for 2017-18 vehicles or Target Charge Level for 2019 model year vehicles. This limits the vehicle charge to 90%.

NHTSA did not immediately comment on the recall.

Other electric vehicles were exposed to fire risk.

Last month, Hyundai engine (KS 🙂 issued a recall for around 75,000 Kona electric vehicles worldwide, as a possible short circuit due to a possible faulty manufacture of the high-voltage battery cells could pose a fire risk.

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