I love the auto industry, which is why it’s often deeply satisfying to watch it burn down – sometimes literally. If you stay abreast of the latest news from the industry, then you’ve probably already heard about Chevy issuing a recall on more than 140,000 vehicles, including the Chevy Bolt EV and the all-new Bolt EUV, due to issues with the battery. These issues can be rather succinctly summarized as they burst into flames!
Fortunately, Chevy has not left Bolt EV owners to simply twist in the wind until they’re able to address the issues with their conflagratory vehicles. General Motors has offered several helpful tips for Bolt EV owners so that they can avoid any inflammatory situations with their vehicles. To assist my readers, I’ve provided these tips from Chevy with minimal commentary.
Tip #1: Set a Charge Limit
Apparently, one of the best ways to keep a battery from erupting into flames is to limit how much power you pump into it. To help drivers with this, Chevy has advised Bolt EV owners to “Set your vehicle to a 90 percent state of charge limitation,” and suggests anyone uncomfortable with making this adjustment should visit a dealership to have it done for them. Makes sense to me – every time the batteries in my TV remote control burst into incendiary ruin, I just stop charging the damn thing so much.
Tip #2: Avoid Battery Depletion
It would seem that having the battery get too low on charge is also a problem. As such, Chevy has instructed Bolt owners to “Charge your vehicle more frequently and avoid depleting their battery below approximately 70 miles of remaining range.” Apparently, if you fully charge a Chevy Bolt battery, it will ignite, and if you let it drain too low, it’ll burst. Excellent design by the engineers and techs at GM.
Tip #3: Careful Where you Park
This beauty is a two-part-er. First, Chevy suggested Bolt owners should “Park your vehicle outside immediately after charging and do not leave your vehicle charging indoors overnight.” Seems pretty reasonable when there’s a chance your vehicle might spontaneously combust, even after you’ve finished charging. But then, they added to this with a suggestion that Bolt owners should not park their vehicles within 50 feet of other vehicles to avoid the risk of spreading a fire to other cars, trucks, or SUVs. I’m glad to see Chevy so concerned about the wellbeing of other drivers – perhaps they should take that approach with their own customers.
Tip #4: Avoid Pets and Loved Ones
In its latest press release, which I have acquired as an exclusive sneak peek, Chevy has now suggested that Bolt owners “Maintain a distance of at least 100 feet between your vehicle and any pets or loved ones.” This advice relates to when it is charging, as well as immediately after charging, just before charging, and any time the vehicle is being operated. In general, just keep your Bolt away from any living creature.
Tip #5: Be Careful of Open Spaces
The aforementioned press release goes on to advise that Bolt owners should “Refrain from parking your vehicle in open spaces overnight, but do not under any conditions park it indoors overnight either.” This might seem confusing at first, but Chevy was kind enough to provide a simple infographic to help their customers. To stay safe, it’s best that you park your Bolt EV within a structure that measures the approximate size of the interior of the Grand Cathedral L’Blanc in J’oiee, France – the specs of which can be found at Chevy’s website.
Tip #6: Choose a Better Vehicle
Finally, to provide the highest level of care and assistance to their customers, Chevy has suggested that in the future, they should “Choose a car with more care and research, in order to avoid potential fire hazards from recall delays and apathy driven by corporate greed.” I’d suggest any of Chevy’s other vehicles or, even better, perhaps something like the Hyundai KONA EV. Hyundai dealt with similar battery fire issues last year – with batteries from the same company as those bursting into flames in the Bolt EV – and issued an immediate recall and replaced them right away. Strange that Chevy dragged its feet.
Editor’s Note: We requested a copy of the aforementioned press release cited throughout the second half of this article from both the author and GM. At this time, neither of them has provided this information – though Mr. Von Gourdboddum was kind enough to send us a copy of the March 1972 issue of Motor Babes Monthly magazine as a source for his content. We have not yet found an article that supports his claims, but we continue to carefully scrutinize this important academic document. Thank you.