Chevy's battery fire drama continues with new footage showing a Bolt EV in flames.
Jesus Damian, 20, lost his 2017 Bolt EV Bolt EV while sitting in a Sacramento parking lot. When the fire started, the all-electric vehicle had been unplugged and turned off. After Chevy extended its recall of Bolts earlier in the month to all model years, this fireball is a result. After several battery fires, the initial recall was issued in November. GM blames LG, the battery manufacturer, for manufacturing defects.
Damian was able to view the fire crews extinguishing flames from a neighbor's perspective. It was captured at 2 AM Monday. He was sleeping in an apartment away from the lot when the video was taken. However, nearby residents said that they heard a loud boom and crackling sounds as well as the massive flame. This Reddit post is his. His Bolt was also damaged by the cars around it, including a Maserati and a Chevy Cruze as well as a Hyundai Elantra.
Damian posted photos of the wrecked car to Reddit and wrote: "I more than [sic] made that post so people understand and see this is real and is happening."
According to the owner, he had spoken with Chevy and his insurance company about the car fire and is now planning to sue GM. Mashable reached out to Chevy for more information about the car fire but Chevy did not immediately respond.
Damian sent an email saying that "at this point it's a waiting game for everyone." He stated that he is feeling frustrated and angry.
The car was unrecognizable due to the fire that likely began from the battery under the floor. The Chevy Bolt had approximately 36,000 miles and came with the more expensive Premier package, which was available the first year Chevy made the Bolt.
The 2017 Chevy Bolt, brand new. Credit: Jesus Damian
After the battery fire, the Chevy Bolt. Credit: Jesus Damian
General Motors stated that the recall of August's Chevy Bolt recall, which included its 2022 EUV, an all-electric vehicle that can be driven hands-free, could have a cost of $1.8 billion.
GM offered to replace the batteries in recalled vehicles at the time. However, the company has halted that effort due to concerns that LG, its battery supplier, cannot make "defect-free products".
"We are not going to start recall repairs, or build new Bolts until we are confident LG will make defect-free products," Dan Flores, GM spokesperson, told the Detroit Free-Press a few days ago.
GM offered a software solution in June, but no notification to customers. The software fix was a huge success, and cars continued to be popular.
Bolts are temporarily outsourced to the factory until Sept. 6, when GM will investigate the exact cause of the car fires.
Before the ferocious scene in Sacramento, GM advised Bolt owner to limit their charge to 90 percent and not allow the charge to fall below 70 miles. This limits drivers to just 144 miles or 60 percent of their capacity, instead of 238. This new video shows that the Bolt, which was burned out, had a range of 34 miles when it exploded.
He also recommended that you park outside once you have charged and avoid parking indoors overnight. Reddit user Damian said that he charges at a Level 2-ChargePoint plug at his mall and "fills it up to 85 percent" about once every five days. Level 2 charging is the most popular. This is a step beyond plugging into a wall outlet, and a step lower than "fast-charging."
Recurrent, an EV battery health platform, found that Bolt owners were not complying with fire prevention guidelines. Recurrent discovered that as many as 30% of 1,000 Chevy Bolt owners weren't adhering to recall guidelines as of last Wednesday.
Damian completed the software fix on the 2017 vehicle, even though it was included in the original recall. He continued to use the vehicle as he did not have any indications that something was wrong prior to parking. He wrote that he woke up to his phone and told it that his car needed attention through the myChevrolet App the morning before the fire. "I was walking to my car to get to work this morning when I found it like this."