Chevy Bolt EV under NHTSA investigation over potential battery fires

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating several reports that the Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle (EV) can catch fire.

The investigation comes after three reports of fires that appear to have originated from the battery pack under the rear seat, according to documents posted to the agency’s website Tuesday morning and reported by CTV News. All three fires happened when the EVs were parked with no one inside, although one incident reported smoke inhalation injuries.

General Motors says it is cooperating with the investigation, and will be performing its own investigation as to the cause of the fires. If a problem is found it could lead to a recall covering approximately 78,000 Bolt EVs made from 2017 to 2020.

In one reported incident from July in Virginia, a 2019 Bolt owner was driving to a townhouse development with a private parking lot. Twenty minutes after parking their car they were notified by a neighbour that smoke was coming from the EV. The fire department attended for more than an hour and were able to put the fire out, only to be called back less than an hour later after the fire restarted.

After putting out the second fire, the car was towed to a dealer, where the fire started for a third time.

Drive Tesla has reached out to Chevrolet for a comment to see if any fires have been reported in Canada. We’ll update this story if we learn more.

The news of a potential fire issue with the Bolt comes just after Hyundai has expanded their recall of the Kona EV for what appears to be a similar issue.

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