Certain model years of the Chevrolet Bolt EV are facing a voluntary recall courtesy of General Motors. In documents provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 111,242 electric hatchbacks had to be returned to dealers for repair and spare parts installed – all to prevent the risk of fire involving seat belts.
The problem lies with the design of the Chevrolet Bolt EV’s seat belt pretensioners, which, according to GM investigations, could be installed in the event of a car crash and cause a fire near the B-pillar area. “In certain accidents that caused the front seat belt pretensioners to deploy, the exhaust from the deployed pretensioners could ignite lint in the floor carpet near the B-pillar,” the document says.
To solve the problem, dealers will be installing metal foil on the carpet near the exhaust pretensioners in the Chevrolet Bolt EV. Certain vehicles will also need to install pretensioner covers. These additional parts must prevent ignition of the carpet material. As usual, this service is free.
GM indicated that the affected units are the 2017 through 2023 model year Chevrolet Bold EVs, manufactured between July 26, 2016 and October 25, 2022. Of note, the Chevrolet Bolt EUV models use a different design and are not affected by this voluntary safety recall.
This isn’t the first recall regarding the Chevrolet Bolt. Earlier this year, the 2017-2022 model years Bolt EV and Bolt EUV had their battery packs replaced due to a fire risk.
LG Chem, a battery pack supplier, supports most battery pack replacement costs. The company is also working with GM to narrow down the cause of the problem, which may be a damaged anode tab or a folded separator.
Chevy Bolt EV and Bolt EUV units manufactured in April onwards are pre-installed with a fixed battery pack.