GM Caps Charging Level for Recalled Bolt EVs
General Motors hopes by early 2021 to have a permanent cure for a battery flaw that has caused five reported fires involving the Chevrolet Bolt electric car.
Chevrolet Bolt (Image: General Motors)
The company is preparing a global recall covering about 68,700 batteries in its 2017-2019 model Bolts. Most of the cars are in the U.S., and GM believes the only affected models are those fitted with batteries made at an LG Chem plant in South Korea.
GM says it is still investigating why some of the LG devices catch fire as they approach or achieve a 100% charge. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched its own preliminary investigation into the issue last month.
GM expects it and NHTSA will have a remedy figured out early next year that will enable the battery capacity of affected Bolts to return to 100%.
Until then, the company is offering a quick software update to reduce the risk of a fire. Beginning Nov. 17, Chevy dealers will be ready to install an update that prevents the battery from being charged beyond 90%.
There’s also a do-it-yourself option to achieve the same result. GM has released a video that shows owners how to use their Bolt’s control panel to manually cap the charge level themselves.
Not programmingly inclined? GM recommends you park your Bolt outside (and away from any structures) until you can take it to a dealership.
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