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Just passing this along here:


DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. government's road safety agency is investigating complaints that the Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle can catch fire.
The probe by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration covers nearly 78,000 Bolts made by General Motors from the 2017 through 2020 model years.
The agency says in documents posted on its website Tuesday that it has three reports of fires that began under the rear seat while the cars were parked and unattended. One person suffered smoke inhalation.

The fire damage appeared to be concentrated in the battery compartment area, spreading into the passenger area.
GM says it's cooperating with the probe and is conducting its own investigation. “The safety of our products is the highest priority for the entire GM team,” the statement said. The company would not comment when asked if the vehicles should be parked outside until the cause of the fires is determined.


The safety agency will determine how often the fires happen and assess the safety consequences. The probe could lead to a recall.
In one of the complaints from March of 2019, a Bolt owner in Belmont, Massachusetts, said the vehicle was parked in the driveway and plugged into the charger for a little over an hour when the fire began.

Then the owner found smoke billowing from the rear of the 2018 Bolt, apparently from the battery area. It took firefighters about three hours to control the blaze, and the owners reported headaches from the smoke. GM sent two engineers from Detroit to inspect the charger, and the company bought the Bolt from the insurance company, the owner wrote.

In another fire from July 4, 2020 in Vienna, Virginia, the owner of a 2019 Bolt told NHTSA that the car was driven to a townhouse development with a private parking lot.

Twenty minutes after arriving, a neighbor rang the doorbell and reported white smoke coming from the back of the Bolt. Firefighters doused the car with water for an hour and left the area, but the fire restarted less than an hour later.
Firefighters returned and put out the fire, and once the car cooled, it was towed to a dealer, where the fire started again. The owner wrote that GM is refusing to investigate the fire because the owner called an insurance company first.
GM spokesman Dan Flores said the company is investigating the Virginia fire and will inspect the Bolt as soon as the company can get access to it.

The National Transportation Safety Board, a separate federal agency, is investigating electric vehicle fires, and a report is expected soon.
 

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If this happens to your car, buy the wreck back from the insurance company and then negotiate a price to sell it to GM for their investigation...

Keith
 

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If this happens to your car, buy the wreck back from the insurance company and then negotiate a price to sell it to GM for their investigation...

Keith
I won't have time, I'll be busy settling my personal injury lawsuit out of court. I already have smoke inhalation, a bad back and a concussion and the car hasn't even started burning yet.
 

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Wow. 1 every 25,000 vehicles sold. It's a crisis.
These are the only three under this investigation, but there have been other fires. Either way, the incidents do seem to be isolated to a fairly narrow set of vehicles. If there is a recall as a result of this, I expect it to be VIN specific. A friend has both a 2019 Chevy Bolt EV and a 2020 Hyundai Kona Electric. He might have both his EVs recalled. :oops:
 

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Owner suffered smoke inhalation? Get the flip out of the car or the area of the smoke you fool.
The smoke apparently got into their home.

ON MARCH 17, 2019 AT APPROXIMATELY 3:45P.M., WE PARKED THE BOLT IN THE DRIVEWAY OF OUR HOME. WE EXITED THE BOLT AND PLUGGED IT INTO OUR JUICEBOX (LEVEL 2) CHARGER AS USUAL. AT APPROXIMATELY 5:00 PM, WE WERE ALERTED THAT THE BOLT WAS ON FIRE. WE DISCOVERED SMOKE BILLOWING OUT OF THE REAR OF THE BOLT AND THE BOLT APPARENTLY COMBUSTING FROM WITHIN IN THE AREA OF THE BATTERY CELLS. THE FIRE DEPARTMENT WAS CONTACTED AND TOOK APPROXIMATELY 3 HOURS TO CONTROL THE FIRE AND SMOKE. THE FIRE DEPARTMENT EVACUATED US, OUR DOWNSTAIRS NEIGHBORS, AND BOTH UNITS OF THE HOME NEXT DOOR DURING THE FIRE. THE FUMES FROM THE BURNING MATERIALS WAS SO THICK AND NOXIOUS IT PERMEATED OUR HOME, REQUIRING PROFESSIONAL CLEANING. WE EXPERIENCED HEADACHES FOLLOWING CONTACT WITH THE SMOKE. THE BOLT IS A TOTAL LOSS. IT TOOK CHEVY A FEW DAYS TO RESPOND TO OUR CLAIM. EVENTUALLY CHEVY SENT TWO ENGINEERS FROM DETROIT TO OUR DRIVEWAY TO INSPECT THE JUICE BOX. CHEVY PURCHASED THE CAR FROM THE INSURANCE COMPANY.
 

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I wonder how many ICEs caught fire today, and how many of those fires were investigated by the US government's road safety organization.
 

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I wonder how many ICEs caught fire today, and how many of those fires were investigated by the US government's road safety organization.
Spontaneously? I suspect a pretty small number. Contrary to popular believe, it takes a fair bit to get liquid gasoline to burn.

Lithium-ion batteries on the other hand require very little encouragement, which is why people are justifiably nervous when they seem to be igniting without external assistance.
 

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I'd like to know how many amps were used for charging on all 3 of these ... were they fast charging? I have a variable charger 16, 24, 32 and 40 amps ... I dialed down to 24 amps, charging is cooler. At 40 Amps outlet was hot even though using 8 gauge wire.

Probably wasn't an issue
but just feel safer lowering the charge rate AT HOME
 

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I'd like to know how many amps were used for charging on all 3 of these ... were they fast charging? I have a variable charger 16, 24, 32 and 40 amps ... I dialed down to 24 amps, charging is cooler. At 40 Amps outlet was hot even though using 8 gauge wire.

Probably wasn't an issue but just feel safer lowering the charge rate AT HOME
Interesting point you bring up here. We have the JuiceBox 40 (which I bought in the interest of "future proofing" our EV aspirations), but dialed it down to 32A since the Bolt isn't capable of accepting 40A anyway. Since this most recent fire indicated that the owner had a JuiceBox as well, would be interesting to know what the settings were, as you noted.
 

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The Bolt seems to have a pretty low fire risk but I'm glad they are looking into it. I hope they can find the cause.

Mike
 

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I can't believe some of the ignorant cavalier comments here. Always the same BS hiding behind "Wonder how many ICE cars caught fire" Well children, this is your car, not some one else's car and if you don't have the brains to park outside until GM figures out what is going on then you get what you deserve. May be nothing,
but also may be the whole fleet. How lucky are you feeling today?
Children...youth is wasted on the young.
I've been parking outside since the last posts and glad GM is investigating.
 

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I wonder how many ICEs caught fire today, and how many of those fires were investigated by the US government's road safety organization.
Electric vehicles are a new technology and it makes sense to pay special attention to incidents to see if there are any safety lessons to be learned. This applies not just to battery fires but to other new technologies such as self-driving capabilities, user interfaces, etc. Any knowledge we can uncover will benefit everyone, owners and all of the manufacturers as well.
 
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