2017-2023 Chevy Bolt EV recalled over fire concern, again

Some Chevy Bolt EV models are once again being recalled over a potential issue that can lead to a vehicle fire. This time it has nothing to do with the battery pack or electric propulsion.

“GM is voluntarily recalling certain 2017-2023 model year Chevrolet Bolt EV vehicles due to rare instances of front seat belt pretensioner exhaust gases coming in contact with floor carpeting fibers, after a vehicle crash,” explained GM in a statement provided to Green Car Reports. 

The recall doesn’t apply to Bolt EUV models, nor does it apply to Bolt EVs put to use by GM’s Cruise autonomous-driving venture. The Bolt EV remains one of the most affordable new EVs available in the U.S.

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Seat belt pretensioners essentially cinch the belt tight just before or during an impact, allowing seat belts to function as tested, and to keep passengers in position for other safety systems such as airbags. 

The issue could result in a vehicle fire if the carpet ignites. According to GM, that’s resulted in three “potentially relevant field incidents.”

The recall, posted Monday by Transport Canada, has not yet been posted by its U.S. NHTSA counterpart. In Canada, the recall affects 19,898 vehicles from those model years. GM says that the recall will involve 119,950 vehicles in the U.S., adding up to 139,848 affected vehicles in North America.

GM explained that, as a solution, dealers will install metal foil at the carpet near the pretensioner exhaust. 

2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Chevy Bolt EV owners—and dealerships—are all too familiar with large-scale recalls. In 2021, GM tackled a battery-fire-related recall of the Bolt EV that applied to every Bolt EV made, leading to a full battery-pack replacement for a large portion of the older vehicle population from the 2017-2019 model years. GM lost many months of Bolt EV and EUV production as it struggled to procure enough battery packs for new vehicles and recall replacements, and ultimately LG agreed to pay GM $1.9 billion for the manufacturing defects behind the issue. 

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