General Motors has recently released a recall of nearly 140,000 Chevrolet Bolt Electric Vehicles due to the potential risk of fire. This issue is completely independent from their previous battery pack recall that could have resulted in combustion; making this an unexpected safety hazard.
Appallingly, the 2017 to 2023 model year Bolt EVs have seatbelt pretensioners that could potentially spark a fire if an accident were to occur. Although it is very rare for this issue to arise, the manufacturer has already declared they will make repairs on all affected vehicles.
Chevrolet has chosen to act in an unconventional manner, opting not to replace the seat belt pretensioners but instead covering the carpet with a shield of foil. Seat belt pretensioner mechanisms have a pyrotechnic component just like airbags and are intended to activate on impact so that people stay secured into their seats firmly. This unexpected yet effective method provides greater peace of mind for vehicle owners.
To date, around 120,000 vehicles in the United States and 20,000 vehicles in Canada have been impacted by this product recall. Although it has yet to be published on the NHTSA website or announced when owners will receive notifications of their vehicle’s involvement or when they can schedule a service center appointment to resolve the issue – news of this safety hazard is already public knowledge throughout Canada.
Subsequent to the grave recall due to unsafe battery packs that could combust spontaneously, GM initiated a process of replacing them so as to enhance their performance. Models from 2017 through 2019 received an upgrade with higher capacity packs that were 10 percent more powerful than before – translating into approximately 6 kWh worth of power.
Last month, the manufacturer worked to replace packs that were faulty in almost half of the affected cars. Their primary focus was on vehicles from 2017-2019 model years before moving onto newer models.