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GM tells some Chevrolet Bolt EV owners to park 50 feet away from other cars in case the battery catches fire

Business Insider logo Business Insider 9/16/2021 kduffy@insider.com (Kate Duffy)
a car parked in a parking lot: GM has warned owners of its Chevrolet Bolt EV to park it 50 feet away from other cars. Yalonda M. James/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images © Yalonda M. James/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images GM has warned owners of its Chevrolet Bolt EV to park it 50 feet away from other cars. Yalonda M. James/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images
  • GM told some Chevrolet Bolt EV owners to park 50 feet away from other cars, Bloomberg first reported.
  • The precaution would reduce the risk of a battery fire spreading to cars nearby, GM said.
  • GM has recalled a total of 142,000 Bolt EVs due to the potential risk of batteries catching fire.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

General Motors (GM) has told some Chevrolet Bolt EV owners to park at least 50 feet away from other cars in garages and lots to reduce the risk of a potential fire spreading to other vehicles, Bloomberg first reported.

GM has also told some customers to park on the top floor in parking lots, or on open levels, for the same reason, Reuters reported.

The new parking advice would "reduce potential damage to structures and nearby vehicles in the rare event of a potential fire," a company spokesman told Reuters in an email.

GM sent the advice to customers who had asked about parking their Bolt electric vehicles, the spokesman said.

The company confirmed to Reuters in August that there had been 10 fires with Bolt electric vehicles.


Video: Chevy Bolt electric vehicles recalled by General Motors (TODAY)

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Insider asked General Motors for comment, but did not immediately receive a response.

In August, GM expanded a recall of Bolt electric vehicles to around 142,000 cars sold worldwide since 2016, due to the risk of batteries catching fire. The company also said at the time that the cost of the recall was about $1 billion, and that it wanted to recoup some costs from battery supplier LG.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said in a statement in August that the affected cars' battery cell packs underneath the backseat's bottom cushion had the "potential to smoke and ignite internally," which could then "spread to the rest of the vehicle."

GM advised some Bolt customers in July to park their electric vehicles outside immediately after charging them, and to avoid charging overnight after reports that two caught fire.

GM initially recalled 69,000 Chevrolet Bolts EVs in November 2020, including 51,000 in the US, following concerns that the vehicles' high-voltage batteries posed a fire risk.

At the time, it told owners to park their cars outside and away from their homes until their vehicle was repaired.

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