US investigates fire reports in Chevy Bolt electric vehicles

hybrid2bev

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US investigates fire reports in Chevy Bolt electric vehicles

https://apnews.com/article/technology-fires-archive-988f285e0af7cbb13d3e77ef08d4186d

DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. government’s road safety agency is investigating complaints that the Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle can catch fire.
The probe by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration covers nearly 78,000 Bolts made by General Motors from the 2017 through 2020 model years.
The agency says in documents posted on its website Tuesday that it has three reports of fires that began under the rear seat while the cars were parked and unattended. One person suffered smoke inhalation. The fire damage appeared to be concentrated in the battery compartment area, spreading into the passenger area.

GM says it’s cooperating with the probe and is conducting its own investigation. “The safety of our products is the highest priority for the entire GM team,” the statement said. The company would not comment when asked if the vehicles should be parked outside until the cause of the fires is determined.
The safety agency will determine how often the fires happen and assess the safety consequences. The probe could lead to a recall.
In one of the complaints from March of 2019, a Bolt owner in Belmont, Massachusetts, said the vehicle was parked in the driveway and plugged into the charger for a little over an hour when the fire began. Then the owner found smoke billowing from the rear of the 2018 Bolt, apparently from the battery area. It took firefighters about three hours to control the blaze, and the owners reported headaches from the smoke. GM sent two engineers from Detroit to inspect the charger, and the company bought the Bolt from the insurance company, the owner wrote.

In another fire from July 4, 2020 in Vienna, Virginia, the owner of a 2019 Bolt told NHTSA that the car was driven to a townhouse development with a private parking lot. Twenty minutes after arriving, a neighbor rang the doorbell and reported white smoke coming from the back of the Bolt. Firefighters doused the car with water for an hour and left the area, but the fire restarted less than an hour later. Firefighters returned and put out the fire, and once the car cooled, it was towed to a dealer, where the fire started again. The owner wrote that GM is refusing to investigate the fire because the owner called an insurance company first.
GM spokesman Dan Flores said the company is investigating the Virginia fire and will inspect the Bolt as soon as the company can get access to it.
The National Transportation Safety Board, a separate federal agency, is investigating electric vehicle fires, and a report is expected soon.
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timbop

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"I've got a bad feeling about this"
 

MailGuy

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I remember when the Model S came out. Incidents of Tesla's catching on fire in crashes also caught the news cycle. Somewhere it was mentioned that the incident of fires in EV's relative to number on the road was actually lower than ICE. The events tended to get more coverage due to them being new. The "challenge' with an EV fire is the temperature of a runaway Li fire and the time it takes to burn out. Preparedness for first responders to deal with it can be an issue.

Three reports in three years of availability. I don't trust my Bolt any less because of this report.
 

ChasingCoral

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I remember when the Model S came out. Incidents of Tesla's catching on fire in crashes also caught the news cycle. Somewhere it was mentioned that the incident of fires in EV's relative to number on the road was actually lower than ICE. The events tended to get more coverage due to them being new. The "challenge' with an EV fire is the temperature of a runaway Li fire and the time it takes to burn out. Preparedness for first responders to deal with it can be an issue.

Three reports in three years of availability. I don't trust my Bolt any less because of this report.
A friend of mine lost his Ford Courier in a fire while parked in the front yard. It was Fall and the leaves caught fire under his exhaust system. Total loss. No headlines.
 

jeffdawgfan

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Why is it that if a EV catches fire it makes national news. ICE fires happen all the time and that never makes the news unless that are fatalities as a result.
 

kdryden99

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Why is it that if a EV catches fire it makes national news. ICE fires happen all the time and that never makes the news unless that are fatalities as a result.
Its a good thing because if they reported about ICE vehicles on fire, Volkswagen would be in the news everyday.
 

JamieGeek

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Why is it that if a EV catches fire it makes national news. ICE fires happen all the time and that never makes the news unless that are fatalities as a result.
Because EV's are still considered "new technology" and thus anything that shows the "new technology" doesn't work is news and that haters like to point out that they are prone to burn (neglecting the thousands of ICE fires at the same time).
 

ChasingCoral

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"Each year, from 2014 to 2016, an estimated 171,500 highway vehicle fires occurred in the United States, resulting in an annual average of 345 deaths"
 

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Why is it that if a EV catches fire it makes national news. ICE fires happen all the time and that never makes the news unless that are fatalities as a result.
Because EV's are still considered "new technology" and thus anything that shows the "new technology" doesn't work is news and that haters like to point out that they are prone to burn (neglecting the thousands of ICE fires at the same time).
I thought it was because the EV fires often happen with the car just sitting there doing nothing. It spontaneously catches fire because Li-On batteries suck. Boeing knows this, Samsung knows this...

I would think the vast majority of ICE fires come from collisions.
 

MailGuy

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I thought it was because the EV fires often happen with the car just sitting there doing nothing. It spontaneously catches fire because Li-On batteries suck. Boeing knows this, Samsung knows this...

I would think the vast majority of ICE fires come from collisions.
You would think, but there have been many instances where hot ICE's ignited fires sitting in garages or elsewhere.
 

kdryden99

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I thought it was because the EV fires often happen with the car just sitting there doing nothing. It spontaneously catches fire because Li-On batteries suck. Boeing knows this, Samsung knows this...

I would think the vast majority of ICE fires come from collisions.
In most cases its due to wiring defects, extreme heat or short circuits
 

RVAtom

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Partially due to this topic I have done a little bit of looking around about garage smoke detectors. Apparently they are a pretty big no-no, and it makes sense. Most garages would trip a CO sensor pretty regularly, and are too dusty, so they would likely have nuisance trips for smoke frequently as well.

It sure seems like with the proliferation of techy dorks like myself buying BEVs, there should be a decent market for a company like Nest to make a Nest Protect garage fire detector using a heat rate of rise sensor. I love our other Nest Protects around the house, and the peace of mind of having the correct style of sensor installed in the garage would be huge.
 
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