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GM/Chevrolet Is Not Repairing Dangerous Bolt EV

  Norman Taylor & Associates
  October 11, 2021

Across the nation, at least 16 Bolt EV electric cars are confirmed to have caught fire. The car has been recalled, and GM has released instructions for owners. For now, they are asking that you park the car outdoors, reducing the risk of flames damaging the home. Owners should also charge outdoors, if possible. When charging, keep the battery below 90%. Going over that limit increases the risk of fire. Strangely, GM is not currently offering repairs for the Bolt EV.

Legal Requirements for Vehicle Recalls

Recalls do not happen for minor issues. It would be highly unusual for a car company to issue a recall for a bad radio, for example. By law, recalls are reserved for issues that make the car dangerous on the road. Clearly, a car suddenly catching fire is a major hazard.

According to U.S. law, car manufacturers must repair a recalled vehicle at least 15 years after its original sale. Manufacturers must bear the cost of repairs, charging consumers nothing. Transfer of ownership does not affect this timeline. If you buy a used car, and it was originally purchased less than 15 years ago, you are still eligible to receive free repairs.

Car companies have a strong incentive to keep their cars safe. If they are caught selling cars they know are dangerous, they can be fined $22,000 for each hazard, topping out at $11,000,000. Normally, these companies do a great job of self-regulating, avoiding these penalties. Many even offer free repairs for recalled cars well beyond the 15-year deadline.

In light of these facts, GM’s reaction to this recall is confusing. Owners seeking repairs have been reportedly turned away, and no one has issued a timeline for repairs to begin. Ostensibly, GM could be breaking the law.

Perhaps the company has plans to roll out repairs later, but this doesn’t help owners who are currently driving potential fire traps. Bolt owners are not responsible for these inherent dangers, and they have a reasonable expectation to safely park and charge their cars without worry.

LG Chem Batteries

The Bolt EV is not the first car to catch fire. Since late 2020, at least three vehicles with LG Chem-manufactured batteries have ignited. The other two belong to Hyundai’s Kona Electric line. Hyundai, however, has been issuing repairs.

The fire issue is highly technical, but it may stem from a problem in the wall separating both halves of the battery. One side houses the charged particles, which then pass to the other after losing their charge. It appears that crystals are building along the divide. As they grow, they can make contact with other parts of the battery, causing sparks that result in flames.

Reach Out to Us for Help

Norman Taylor & Associates is ready to take action. If you are a Chevrolet Bolt EV owner and have not taken the vehicle in for repair or have been denied, contact us right away! Since 1987, we have worked to protect consumers from unscrupulous automotive manufacturers. We can give you a free consultation and assess your situation, so call (818) 244-3905 or fill out our online contact form today.

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