DETROIT (AP) — General Motors is recalling all Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles sold worldwide to fix a battery problem that could cause fires.
The recall announced Friday adds about 73,000 Bolts from the 2019 through 2022 model years to a previous recall of 69,000 older Bolts.
The recall raises questions about lithium ion batteries, which now are used in nearly all electric vehicles. President Joe Biden wants to convert 50% of the U.S. vehicle fleet from internal combustion to electricity by 2050 as part of a broader effort to fight climate change.
GM said that in rare cases the batteries have two manufacturing defects that can cause fires.
The Detroit-based automaker said it will replace the battery modules in all the vehicles.
The move will cost the company about $1 billion.
GM said owners should limit charging to 90% of battery capacity. The Bolts, including a new SUV, should be parked outdoors until the modes are replaced.
The original recall was blamed on a manufacturing defect at a South Korean factory run by LG Chemical Solution, GM’s battery supplier. But the company said an investigation showed that the defects are possible in batteries made at other sites. Most newer Bolt batteries are made at an LG plant in Holland, Michigan.
GM said it will pursue reimbursement from the battery maker, LG Chemical Solution.
GM issued the first Bolt recall in November after getting reports of the five of them catching fire. Two people suffered smoke inhalation and a house was set ablaze.
At first the company didn’t know what was causing the problem, but it determined that batteries that caught fire were near a full charge.
GM traced the fires to what it called a rare manufacturing defect in battery modules. It can cause a short in a cell, which can trigger a fire.
The Bolts are only a tiny fraction of GM’s overall U.S. sales, which run close to 3 million vehicles in a normal year. But they are the first of an ambitious rollout of electric models as GM tries to hit a goal of selling only electric passenger vehicles by 2035.
Other automakers are also announcing additional electric models worldwide to cut pollution and meet stricter government fuel economy standards.
Shares in General Motors Co. were down almost 3% in extended trading following the recall announcement.
5 ways to protect your car from summer heat
Air out your car
A tried-and-true method: Air out your car by rolling down the passenger-side window and fanning the driver-side door to push the hot air out.
Park in the shade
Pay attention to how the sun travels across the sky (from east to west) in relation to your vehicle, and park accordingly. Trees are a go-to source of shade throughout the day — particularly at high noon — but a tall building or awning can cast a shadow at the right time.
Crack a window
While this may not be the safest choice, a set of window deflectors can help block sunlight while concealing the open window.
Use various covers
Sunshade: If you think you will get caught out in the sun, you can get a sunshade to cover the windshield, reducing its greenhouse effect. Sunshades are often collapsible for easy storage.
Seat covers: Leather seats + a sunny day = an uncomfortable ride. Seat covers put a layer of material between you and the hot leather.
Dashboard cover: Sun rays and heat make your dashboard prone to fading or cracking. Covering it up can protect its longevity.
Steering wheel cover: You want to safely drive without constantly shifting your hand position to avoid burns. Look for a steering wheel cover in a breathable microfiber.
Full-car cover: Without a garage, a full-car cover can be the next best thing to shield your vehicle from the elements. Heat and UV rays can damage the paint, plastic and rubber on your car.
Tint your windows
A more permanent heat management trick is window tinting, done by a professional or at home with a roll of tinted film and a DIY tool kit.
But first, check out the American Automobile Association’s glass and window tinting guide to verify your state’s law on the darkest window tint allowed.
Karl Daum is a writer for BestReviews, a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
How hot can a car get in the sun?
Cars trap heat like greenhouses, and can get dangerously hot very quickly. A study from Stanford found that on sunny days when temperatures ranged from 72 to 96 degrees, car interiors warmed by an average of 40 degrees in minutes.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, child vehicular heatstroke can occur at 70 degrees.
Pets are equally prone to dehydration and heatstroke; don’t leave them in the car, even if just for a few minutes.