It’s no secret that the Chevy Bolt EV has been lighting itself on fire for at least a couple of years now, often resulting in its own destruction. Up until this point, however, the fires could be blamed on the batteries in these Battery-Electric Vehicles (BEVs), causing them to erupt into a ruinous conflagration. Things have changed as Chevy issued a recall last month based on three recent fires that could’ve been caused by something new: not the batteries in them, but their seatbelts. Allow me to repeat that for the people in the back; Chevy Bolt EV models are now starting to burst into flames because of their seatbelts!
A Growing Problem and a Company Concerned
When Chevy Bolt EV models first began to dabble with the ancient art of self-immolation, there was some initial concern among drivers, but Chevy didn’t seem too worried. They attempted to fix the problem the cheapest way possible: through a simple software fix that would hopefully stop Bolt EVs from doing what they wanted to do, which is to say burst into flames. That didn’t work, so they tried it again; that didn’t work, so they finally admitted defeat and moved forward with a battery recall.
This would seem to have been the end of it, and Bolt EV owners were simply waiting for their opportunity to have the batteries swapped out and get back to driving. But recently, a disturbing new trend has emerged: now Bolt EV models are bursting into flames due to exhaust gases from their seatbelt pre-tensioners. When these gases come into contact with carpet fibers inside the Bolt EV, there’s apparently a small chance of them combusting. At least that’s the official story – my contacts inside Chevy are concerned that what’s really going on is an epidemic of depression and self-harm among Bolt EV models.
Chevy Moves Quickly to Take Bold Action
In order to avoid future property damage and greater despair, Chevy has established a new hotline that Bolt EV models can call if they’re feeling down and considering ending it all in a fiery display. There’s also a number available for text messaging and I’ve been told Chevy is working on an online chat platform but this is not, at the moment, ready for use. According to my sources at Chevy, more than 20,000 vehicles have already utilized this number to discuss their concerns and feelings of inadequacy, with thousands calling each day.
At the moment, Chevy’s initial recall for battery fires covered all Bolt EV models across numerous years. The new recall for these seatbelt fires cover as many as 140,000 vehicles spanning 2017 to 2023 model years, which can be affected by this new issue and that may be experiencing self-destructive ideation. It would seem that Chevy is worried their vehicles will continue to find new ways to set themselves on fire; frankly, I’m not surprised. If I had to live my life as a Bolt EV, I’d probably do the same thing.
What does the Future Hold?
For now, this problem only affects the Bolt EV, but I can’t help but wonder what will happen in the years ahead. The introduction of the Equinox and Blazer EV is sure to make things more difficult for the Bolt EV and Bolt EUV models that are out right now. At least at the moment, a Bolt EV can console itself with the knowledge that it’s the only option people have for a Chevy BEV –– but when it’s overshadowed by better choices, things are going to get rough. I can only assume we’ll awaken one day to find ourselves in a world very much like that of the award-winning film, “The Happening,” and we’ll have to watch helplessly as the Bolt EVs we’ve come to know and love, silently destroy themselves en masse before our very eyes.
Editor’s Note: Here at The Lemon, we know that self-harm is no laughing matter. If you or a loved one is a Chevy Bolt EV experiencing intrusive thoughts about setting yourself on fire in any way and for any reason, please know that you’re not alone. There are resources available to you and you don’t have to try to get through this by yourself. Please contact us and we’ll be happy to get you in touch with professionals who can work with you through these issues and get you the help that you deserve. Thank you.