General Motors (GM) has told some of its Chevy Bolt owners to park 50 feet away from other cars so they won’t be at risk if a spontaneous fire breaks out, Bloomberg has reported. The automaker has recalled around 142,000 Bolts sold since 2016 because the batteries could catch on fire. This has cost GM $1.8 billion so far and the article noted that owners will be even more upset by the news since they are already limiting the use of their Bolt so that it doesn’t overheat the battery.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has identified 13 fires in Bolts. GM said that the fires are rare and are the result of two defects that are caused by a manufacturing problem in LG plants in Michigan and South Korea.
One day after this bit of news, Reuters reported that GM extended the production halt at its Orion Assembly plant until October 15th. It’s also cutting production at six other North American assembly plants due to the semiconductor chip shortage. Reuters added that the company has no plans to resume Bolt production or sales until it is satisfied that the recall will address the fire risk issue. It’s not know how long GM will need in order to get replacement battery modules for the recalled Bolts. The company said that the additional three-week production halt at its Bolt plant comes as it continues “to work with our supplier to update manufacturing processes.”
Some GM Bolt Owners No Longer Want Their EV
Upon hearing the news that they pretty much can’t use their car, some GM Bolt owners are selling their EVs back to GM. CNN, also noting that GM had recommended that Bolt owners restrict the use of their cars to avoid straining the batteries and park them away from their homes, conducted an interview with a few Bolt owners. One said that they were not comfortable having the vehicle at this point and that GM didn’t even know how long this would take to resolve.
GM’s customer service was also lacking and one Bolt owner was on hold for almost an hour. Another one was worried about the safety of her home if her car were to have suddenly ignited, so GM offered her a 150-foot charging cable. This person was told by another GM dealer that such a cable didn’t even exist. Other Bolt owners were reportedly asking for buybacks. For those wanting GM to buy back the car, it’s reportedly a time consuming process involving a lot of paperwork — and GM may not even buy back the car.
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