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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited by Moderator)

@Telek Summary (Based on Interviews with principals):

There was a fire yesterday of a 2020 Bolt in California. @Telek spoke with the owner to get the details. The video was removed at the owner's request because it had personally identifiable information and not wanting to risk any part of his claim. To respect his wishes, please do not reshare it.
  • Manufactured November 19th, 2020. Purchased January 9th, 2021. Car was less than 8 months old.
  • Less than 6000 miles on the odometer.
  • No damage, dings, or anything. Car was in perfect condition. Never had any problems. Absolutely loved the car.
  • Car was frequently let run down to ~30% before plugging in.
  • Car had charged from 9:00pm and completed at 3:04am.
  • Car was in driveway all day still plugged in.
  • Loud bang as smoke erupted out of the side of the car at 5:05pm - 911 was called very shortly thereafter.
  • Fire visible from under the car 3 minutes later.
  • 4 minutes after that the aluminum body panels were melting.
  • FD was on site 10 minutes after the smoke erupted, but car was fully on fire by that point.
  • Very clearly was a battery fire.
This is the first 2020 that we know of that caught fire while charging, with the same pattern that was identified with the 2017-2019s.

This is the second US battery to catch fire in under a month.

Telek has reached out to GM for comment, will update if/when they provide anything.

It is important to note that this is the first 2020 that we know of that caught fire, so the odds are still very low. However, in light of everything else, it's still very troubling.
 

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Hope we can get confirmation it is a '20.

It looks like the plate is a CA plate [self-redacting, for now]. (I have no idea how reputable this site is but I have used it a few times before as it comes up in Google searches.)

Was likely sold in Victorville, CA.
 

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Well this isn't good.......
 
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The next question is, if it really were a '20, would the "advanced diagnostics software" upgrade (N202323690 https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2021/MC-10194132-9999.pdf) have caught it, if it were available for '20 Bolts. I believe it's n/a for '20 Bolts at the moment.

(Looking under 2020 CHEVROLET BOLT EV 5 HB FWD | NHTSA, I don't see it. I'd found the above via 2019 CHEVROLET BOLT EV 5 HB FWD | NHTSA.)

If my reading of the plate is wrong and/or VinCheck's info is wrong, please speak up. [self-redacted, for now] Would be good to get another set of eyes and verification via other sources.

Normally, a way of finding out year, make and model of a CA car that's old enough is via Vehicle Test History - Bureau of Automotive Repair but that's useless for EVs since they can't be smog checked.
 

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Poor clueless firefighters. They clearly thought it was an engine fire..
You understand there is a cuttable HV master disconnect under the hood?
 
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Well I can't say I'm all that surprised. I've been skeptical since day one that late 2019 cars that were not on the recall were safe: how could the exact same cells and same battery pack hardware be safe simply because those same parts were assembled in a different country? And that kinda trickles into 2020 and beyond as well: how? Yes, it is possible that the procedures in South Korea were lacking or that some equipment there was deficient. But GM never gave ANY explanation for why they thought only South Korea packs were defective, even a generic "there was an equipment/assembly issue at the SK plant" or "personnel at the SK plant had not been trained sufficiently".

So I always wondered if the "South Korea built" packs assumption was just that: an assumption based on the data being skewed toward packs from that plant. Now with a 2020 combusting, no matter what happens, consumer's first question is going to be "Does GM even know what they are doing?"

Mike
 

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Assuming there is a fire danger in even the newest Bolts and a recall goes out for them, what is the predicted remedy (repurchase, battery replacement, something else)? What impact will that have on used prices?

Imagine the fire you could make with a 200 kWh Hummer. :unsure:

One Humdinger of a 🔥
 
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