October 27, 2020 — Safety officials are investigating reports of fires sparked by lithium-ion batteries in Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
has opened an investigation after 3 reports of battery fires in 2017, 2018 and 2019 Chevrolet Bolts, in which the “vehicles caught fire under the rear seat while parked and unattended.”
In a complaint from July 2020, the owners of a 2019 Bolt said they left their home with a full charge, drove around 12 miles, and turned the car off. It caught on fire approximately 20 minutes later.
Firefighters spent 1 hour extinguishing the fire under the rear-seat area, left the scene, but had to return when it caught on fire again. The vehicle was towed to dealership, where it caught on fire a third time.
In another report from March 2019, a 2018 Bolt was parked in a garage, and it caught on fire about 1 hour after it was plugged in. Several nearby homes were evacuated, firefighters spent 3 hours putting out the fire, and the owners suffered injuries related to smoke inhalation.
NHTSA investigators also discovered that a 2017 Bolt had a similar burn pattern in its rear seat, near the battery compartment.
The NHTSA estimates that 78,000 Chevrolet Bolt EVs built between the 2017 and 2020 model-years could be affected by the problem.
Last month, a woman from Virginia contacted local news ABC7 after the batteries in her 2019 Chevy Bolt overheated and caught on fire in the parking lot of her parent’s home. The heat melted the backseat and destroyed some electrical parts.
Do I have an Electric Vehicle Battery Fire Lawsuit?
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