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While GM Teaches LGES Quality Control, Chevy Bolt EV Catches Fire Inside Garage
On September 13, we told our readers that GM was not hiding anymore that it was unhappy with LGES (LG Energy Solution). The company said its engineers are helping the battery supplier to “clean up the manufacturing process” by implementing “GM quality metrics.” In other words, it is teaching LGES how to make quality control. On the same day, another Chevrolet Bolt EV caught fire in Cherokee County, Canton, Georgia. However, this case will bring up some interesting legal questions.

While GM Teaches LGES Quality Control, Chevy Bolt EV Catches Fire Inside Garage

2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV Catches Fire in Canton, Georgia2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV Catches Fire in Canton, Georgia2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV Catches Fire in Canton, GeorgiaGM's Page About the Chevolet Bolt EV RecallGM's Page About the Chevolet Bolt EV Recall
GM has recognized the Bolt EV has battery issues due to manufacturing problems LGES presented in many of its factories. To avoid the new problems, the company would have warned the vehicles' owners about not charging them to 100% and parking them outside their garages. But the fact is it does not ask that for any situation.

At GM’s recall page for the Bolt EV, the instructions are under the headline “What You Should Do.” These are the exact recommendations (the bold is on us):

"1. Set your vehicle to a 90 percent state of charge limitation using Hilltop Reserve mode (for 2017-2018 model years) or Target Charge Level (for 2019-2022 model years) mode. Instructions on how to do this are available in the videos below. If you (are) unable to successfully make these changes, or do not feel comfortable making these changes, GM is asking you to visit your dealer to have these adjustments completed.

2. Charge your vehicle more frequently and avoid depleting their battery below approximately 70 miles (113 kilometers) of remaining range, where possible.

3. Park your vehicle outside immediately after charging and do not leave your vehicle charging indoors overnight."

The videos on each of the above are right below these instructions. We looked for them on GM’s or Chevrolet’s YouTube channels to embed them to this article, but none of these channels have them. If they were there, theu would help increase awareness about the procedures to avoid more damages in case of fires.

We have no idea if they would have been helpful for this Chevrolet Bolt EV owner. The fire started at “shortly after” 9 AM, and the vehicle owner called the firefighters. When they arrived, they saw smoke coming from inside the garage.

It was just in time to take the 2019 Bolt EV outside and avoid more damage to the garage. Pictures of the vehicle taken by the Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services show a car that does not look as destroyed as other units affected by fires. That indicates the firefighters must have arrived really quickly at the scene.

The firefighters said smoke reportedly damaged a 2017 Dodge Ram parked in the same spot, but that seems something that can be fixed. On the other hand, the garage was damaged. According to Rick Collett, the battalion chief, the firefighters had a lot of work to prevent the blaze from reaching the house, which is right beside it. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

Despite having these details, some crucial ones are still lacking. We know that the Bolt EV was inside the garage. However, had its owner just charged it, or did they only park it inside because they did not do that recently? The latter would imply the Chevy owner followed the recommendations strictly. Supposing the owner didn’t follow the suggestions, was that because they decided to ignore them or could not follow them? Did they even know about these recommendations?

If they didn’t, has GM warned owners as much as it could about the risks? By which means and how many times? These are questions we do not expect to have an answer for without talking to the Chevy owner. If you happen to know them, put them in touch with us. The answers will help answer who should pay for the damages caused by the new Bolt EV fire. Unfortunately, we have a hunch that it will not be the last one until the recall is completed. It is expected to start in November if all go as planned...


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