Chevy Bolts Recalled as Automaker Cites New Fire Risk
General Motors is recalling certain Chevy Bolt electric vehicles over fire risks. Again.
The latest recall comes less than a year after GM restarted Bolt production at a plant in Michigan. The company had pumped the brakes on making new Bolts after recalling essentially every single one of the EVs on the market over battery pack fire risks.
This time around, it is a seatbelt problem that could cause the vehicles to go up in flames.
In the event of a collision, the company says exhaust gasses from front seat belt pretensioners can come in contact with carpet fibers, potentially causing a fire.
“Following a crash that causes the seatbelt pretensioner to deploy, a fire may develop in the area near the B-pillar, which may increase the risk of injury,” GM said in a defect report filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “The temperature of the exhaust from a deployed pretensioner may be sufficient to ignite carpet materials in close proximity to the pretensioner.”
The recall covers some 140,000 Bolt vehicles in the U.S. and Canada. GM told NHTSA it plans to notify owners of recalled cars by the end of January.
The specifics of the fix vary.
“Dealers will install metal foil at the carpet near the pretensioner exhaust,” GM said. “Certain vehicles will also need a pretensioner cover installed.”
The problem is that GM doesn’t know when the covers will be available.
“GM will provide an owner notification estimate for this second phase once availability of the pretensioner covers can be estimated,” the company said.
GM Ramps Bolt Production
GM has been ramping up Bolt production, according to an Automotive News report. The manufacturer plans to make about 70,000 of the vehicles next year, nearly 60 percent more than the total expected for 2022.
Still, the latest Bolt recall comes as federal investigators are looking into whether GM and other electric vehicle makers are properly launching recalls when needed.
Investigators are focusing in particular on cars with LG electric batteries, according to a Detroit News report. LG in 2021 pledged to fork over about $1.9 billion to cover costs and expenses related to the original Bolt recall.
How the California Lemon Law Works
Car owners and lessors in California have some important rights and options under the state’s lemon law.
The law generally requires car manufacturers to do a wide range of repairs on vehicles while they are under warranty. It also forces automakers to buy back covered vehicles that they are not able or flat-out refuse to fix. That includes compensating the owner for the car’s purchase price, along with financing fees, rental car costs and other related expenses.
How Our Lawyers Can Help You
If you have been stuck with a defective or malfunctioning vehicle or are haggling with a car manufacturer over repairs, the California lemon lawyers at Bickel Sannipoli APC can help you fight back.