General Motors is still rolling out new batteries for the troubled Chevy Bolt electric vehicle, albeit very slowly. We are hearing from clients and potential clients that dealerships are putting them on “wait lists” for the new battery but are not hearing again from the dealership. The dealerships give the owner no times table for getting their new battery as well. Obviously, this is very frustrating for consumers who are tired of figuring out ways to safely charge their EV. To date, we have only heard of the new batteries actually being installed in the 2017 – 2019 year models, but not for any 2020-2021 models. The good news is that once the battery has been installed, consumers seem to be happy with the new battery giving them a longer range than the original. More importantly, we have not heard of any problems associated with the new battery. This is good news for consumers.


With that said, we are still accepting Chevy Bolt cases, regardless of whether the new battery has been installed, and we continue to achieve favorable settlements with General Motors. Many of our settlements are for cash, allowing the consumer to receive compensation while being allowed to keep the vehicle.

Please call us at 1-888-395-3666 for more details about this problem.

Chevrolet Bolt EV

Here is a summary of the defect.
General Motors recalled all of their Chevrolet Bolt EVs because there is a manufacturing defect affecting the battery cell. The problem is aggravated when the battery is charged to a full or nearly full state after it has been substantially depleted. The battery could overheat and catch fire, causing damage to the vehicle and structures around it. As a temporary solution, GM asked owners to reprogram their hybrid propulsion control module to limit a full charge.

The safety recall from the NHTSA states the following:
As an interim remedy, dealers will reprogram the hybrid propulsion control module to limit full charge to 90%. Until this interim is completed, customers should enable either “Hilltop Reserve” (for 2017-2018 model year vehicles) or “Target Charge Level” (for 2019 model year vehicles) using their vehicle’s infotainment center. These two features will limit the vehicle’s state of charge to 90% until the HPCM2 software re-calibration is applied. If customers are unable to successfully make these changes or do not feel comfortable making these changes, they will be advised to not park their car in their garage or carport until after they have visited their dealer.

Ford will be contacting the owners of certain 2021-2022 Mustang Mach E vehicles because the high voltage battery in their cars may overheat. The problem may lead to loss of power and could increase the chance of an accident.

Ford’s Critical Concern Review Group first became aware of the problem in April 2022, after hearing of an issue pertaining to the high voltage battery main contactor overheating in a Mustang Mach E. A review of warranty reports found approximately 286 warranty claims where the problem was an open or welded battery contactor. According to the defect report, it is possible that the high voltage battery main contactors may overheat, which can result in an open contactor or a welded condition.

Contactors that are welded shut while driving, will result in an illuminated powertrain malfunction warning light on the next drive cycle, along with a no-start condition.

Contactors that become open while driving, will result in a powertrain malfunction warning light, the vehicle will display “Stop Safely Now” on the instrument panel, and the vehicle will lose power.

In both cases, all 12V systems including power brakes and steering will remain functional.

Ford will correct the problem by installing a Secondary On-Board Diagnostic Control Module (SOBDMC) and updating the Battery Energy Control Module (BECM) software. Ford is expected to begin Over-The-Air (OTA) updates for the SOBDMC and BECM software in July 2022. Owners will also have the option to take their vehicle to a Ford or Lincoln dealer to have the software update completed.

The updated SOBDMC software (LJ98-14G069-AXG, LJ98-14G069-AZG, LJ98-14G069-BBG, LJ98-14G069-BDG) will monitor contactor temperature and intelligently reduce battery power to prevent damage to the contactor. The updated BECM software (NJ98-14C197-AE, NJ98-14C197-BD) will monitor contactor resistance to identify an overheated contactor and reduce vehicle power to prevent further damage.

Ford’s number for this recall is 22S41 and the NHTSA campaign number is 22V-412.

Tesla will be contacting the owners of certain 2021-2022 Tesla model vehicles because of a problem that could cause the infotainment central processing unit (CPU) to malfunction.

The vehicles affected by this problem include:

2022 Tesla Model 3
2021-2022 Tesla Model S
2021-2022 Tesla Model X
2022 Tesla Model Y

In December 2021 during routine High Temperature Operation Endurance (HTOE) testing on the Model 3 and Model Y vehicle platform central processing unit (CPU), throttling was detected from thermal protections being engaged. An investigation into thermal management was initiated using vehicle alerts to follow the condition in the field. During this time, Tesla Engineering worked on a series of test experiments to identify the potential cause of the overheating condition. In April 2022, Tesla completed its investigation and confirmed the suspected root cause and affected vehicle population. The findings were reviewed and a recall was initiated.

According to the defect report, during fast-charging or preparation for fast-charging, the infotainment CPU may not cool sufficiently. Higher than expected temperatures could cause the CPU to slow processing or restart, and a lagging or blank center screen display. The problem could cause the rear-view camera display, windshield visibility control settings, drive modes (i.e., Drive, Neutral, or Reverse), and telltales to be unavailable.

On May 3, 2022, Tesla began deploying an OTA firmware update that will improve the management of the CPU temperature and associated communications with elevated temperature operation. This remedy will mitigate temperature elevations in the CPU when the vehicle is fast-charging or preparing to fast-charge, which will prevent slow processing or restart. Tesla’s number for this recall is SB-22-00-009 and the NHTSA campaign number is 22V-296.

 Automotive Defect Investigation

The NHTSA have a continuing investigation into certain LGES high voltage batteries used in electric and hybrid vehicles. The investigation was prompted by the number of fire recalls on the electric and hybrid vehicles listed below. The purpose of this investigation is to find other companies that might have purchased the same or similar equipment from LG and to notify them if this defect has shown up in any vehicles they manufactured.


Recall No. 20V-107
Date: February 2020

Mercedes Benz USA notified NHTSA of a safety-related defect in one 2019 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive vehicle.
Note: This vehicle received an LG Chem high voltage battery that may contain a defect allowing for an electrical arc, which can ignite inside the battery cells, increasing the risk of a fire.


Recall No. 20V-630
Date: October 2020

Hyundai Motor America notified NHTSA of a safety-related defect in certain 2019-2020 Kona Electric vehicles. Note: The high-voltage battery system in the subject vehicles, supplied by LG, may have been produced with internal damage to certain cells of the lithium-ion battery increasing the risk of an electrical short circuit, which could result in a fire.


Recall No. 20V-701 & 21V-650
Date: November 2020

General Motors notified NHTSA of a safety defect in all 2017-2018 and certain 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV vehicles.
Note: These vehicles were built with high voltage batteries, produced by LG, that may contain latent cell-level manufacturing defects posing a risk of fire when charged to full, or nearly full, capacity. In August 2021, GM expanded this recall to include certain 2020-2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV and 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV vehicles. GM stated, “the root cause of the failure is the simultaneous presence of two rare manufacturing defects in the same battery cell.”


Recall No. 21V-127
Date: March 2021

Hyundai notified NHTSA of a safety-related defect in certain 2019-2020 Kona Electric and 2020 Ioniq Electric vehicles .
Note: These vehicles are equipped with LG produced Lithium-ion battery cells where, if the Anode (Negative) tab is folded, the battery cell could allow the Lithium plating on the Anode tab to contact the Cathode resulting in an electrical short, thereby increasing the risk of a fire while parked, charging and/or driving.


Recall No. 22V-077
Date: February 2022

Chrysler notified NHTSA of a safety-related defect in certain 2017-2018 Pacifica Plug-In Hybrid Electric vehicles.
Note: These Pacifica vehicles contain hybrid battery packs produced by LG. FCA has not yet determined whether the battery packs were defective or the root cause of the fires.


Recall No. 22V-162
Date: March 2022

Volkswagen notified NHTSA of a safety-related defect in certain 2021 ID4 vehicles.
Note: The high voltage batteries used in the vehicles may contain insufficient soldering points and thus contain unreliable connections inside the high voltage battery. As a result of the unreliable connections, the vehicles may break down or stall while driving, leading to a crash.

Over the years, automakers have invested billions of dollars into studies and research in an attempt to build the best electric vehicle, and as a result, electric vehicles have become more attractive and affordable for the average driver. The cost of an electric vehicle (EV) or plug-in hybrid (PHEV) are usually higher than a gas powered vehicles, but there are some federal and state electric car tax credits and incentives that can bring the upfront cost down. The Plug-In Electric Motor Vehicle Tax Credit is the main federal program for electric cars in the United States. Under this program, a new electric vehicle is eligible for a tax credit as long as it meets the federal electric car tax credit criteria. The federal tax credit applies to both all-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles. The amount you can claim varies based on the vehicle model.

California is a leader in clean vehicle adoption with more plug-in electric vehicles on its roadways than any other state. This move away from gasoline and diesel brings environmental and economic benefits, including less air pollution and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. As long as funds are available, eligible California residents can apply for a Clean Vehicle Rebate (CVR) after purchasing or leasing an eligible vehicle.

It’s been thirty years since the first lithium-ion battery cell was used in camcorders, laptops and cell phones, and in those thirty years there have been fires. In 2019, the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation jointly banned the shipment of lithium-ion batteries as cargo on passenger airplanes, and limited how they can be shipped on cargo aircraft, after several incidents were linked to battery fires. Now that they are in much larger products, like automobiles, battery fires draw even more media attention, especially when they occurred while vehicles are parked inside a garage.

The Chevrolet Bolt EV battery recall is one of the recalls that received a large amount of publicity for risk of fires. One case documented by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration talks about a Bolt that caught fire in a home where firefighters spent an hour trying to put out the flames. The fire restarted an hour later and reignited a third time after it was towed to a dealership. General Motors traced the problem to a manufacturing defect at the plant which supplied defective batteries that resulted in the Hyundai Kona EV recall as well. Ford recently recalled a small number of 2021-2022 Ford Escape and 2022 Lincoln Corsair hybrid power-train SUVs because the high voltage battery could experience an overheat situation, and Tesla cars have also, been investigated for fires. The most recent recall for battery problems affects certain 2017-2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid vehicles that could experience a fire, even with the ignition in the “OFF” mode.

Many plug-in electric vehicle fire incidents have taken place since the production of plug-in electric vehicles. As a result of these incidents, the United States, Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducts studies to establish whether lithium-ion batteries in plug-electric vehicles pose an exceptional fire hazard. The research looks into whether the high-voltage batteries can cause fires when they are being charged and when the vehicles are involved in an accident. The NHTSA “Battery Safety Initiative” for Electric Vehicles works to coordinate research and other activities to address safety risks relating to batteries in electric vehicles. They continue to examine data related to electric vehicle battery safety, field incidents and conduct special investigations of electric vehicle crash and non-crash events, to ensure that electric and hybrid vehicles don’t pose an unnecessary risk for drivers.

Chrysler recommends that owners of select model year 2017-2018 Pacifica plug-in hybrid electric vehicles park their vehicles outdoors and away from other vehicles or structures due to a risk of fire, even if the vehicle is turned off. Owners are advised to NOT charge their vehicles and continue to park outside until a remedy is identified.

In August 2021, Chrysler Technical Safety and Regulatory Compliance Organization opened an investigation into a reported trend of fires in certain Chrysler Pacifica PHEVs. Since August 2021, there have been five customer records and twelve field reports relating to this issue. The potentially affected vehicles include 2017-2018 Chrysler Pacifica PHEVs manufactured between August 12, 2016, when production of Chrysler Pacifica PHEVs began, and ended on August 7, 2018, when the 2018 model year production ended. Chrysler will conduct a voluntary safety recall on all affected vehicles.

Although the automaker is still investigating the cause, the fire risk is likely due to corrosion of an electrical connection inside the Pacifica’s 12-volt battery system. This system is used to power auxiliary features, including radios and garage door openers, and is not part of the vehicle’s plug-in hybrid propulsion system. However, only hybrid vehicles are included in this recall.

According to the NHTSA defect report, “Certain 2017-2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid vehicles may experience a fire, even with the ignition in the “OFF” mode. A vehicle fire can result in an increased risk of occupant injury and/or injury to persons outside the vehicle, as well as property damage.”

Because the remedy is under development, Chrysler is advising owners of these hybrid vehicles to refrain from recharging them and to park them away from structures and other vehicles. Owners can keep operating the vehicles using the internal combustion engine.

A small number of 2021-2022 Ford Escape and 2022 Lincoln Corsair hybrid power-train SUVs have been manufactured with a high voltage battery that could fail and result in a sudden loss of motor power. The problem was brought to Ford’s Critical Concern Review Group in October 2021 after an issue pertaining to an overheated high voltage battery bus bar was reported in Germany. Through a search of warranty reports, Ford identified an additional vehicle in Europe that reported a loss of function due to the overheated high voltage battery bus-bar.

During the manufacturing process, the high voltage bus-bar pad was not properly seated and could cause the pad to be mounted out of position prior to bus-bar welding. This condition could reduce the contact area between the cell terminal and the bus bar, giving it a high resistance. The high resistance could eventually result in an overheat situation.

According to the defect report, an overheated bus bar terminal may create a high resistance connection that could cause the battery pack high voltage bus voltage to fall below an operational level. If this happens, the hybrid power-train control module will sense the high voltage and detect a fault. A diagnostic trouble code will be sent and the vehicle will lose power. Drivers will also notice a “Stop Safely Now” warning message displayed on the instrument panel.

Ford’s team reviewed supplier process and production records to determine the population of affected parts. Affected vehicles are equipped with the 2.5L Hybrid power train and the suspect high voltage battery pack.

Dealers will replace the high voltage battery. Ford’s number for this recall is 21S48 and the NHTSA campaign number is 22V-149.

Do you think your Ford Escape or Lincoln Corsair could be a Lemon? Don’t live with a Lemon, especially if the problems you are having are safety-related. If you have any questions about your rights and the California Lemon Law, please call our office at 888-395-3666 for some great Lemon Law advice.

General Motors believes that they have the final resolution for the Chevy Bolt saga by replacing the entire battery system on the Bolts. While the new batteries are starting to make their way into the Chevy dealerships, and into the vehicles, the waitlist is long, and the dealerships are getting limited inventory. One dealership we recently spoke with informed us that due to the physical complications in replacing the batteries, the process is slow, yielding perhaps only one or two vehicles per day. At this pace, the replacement of batteries into all Bolts will take several months.

In the meantime, GM has offered repurchases to many owners of the Bolts, but they’re not following up with consumers with time frames or logistics. While promises are being made, actions are not. And while a case is pending with GM, consumers are still struggling with how to protect themselves from dangerous fires, or something even as simple as where to safely park their Bolt.

We now have a client whose Bolt actually did catch fire in the middle of the night causing the destruction of the vehicle and other property. So, we know first-hand just how dangerous these vehicles are, and the destruction they’re capable of. Please heed all of the warnings GM has given and especially do not park a Chevy Bolt in an enclosed area.

We are still successfully pursuing Bolt cases against GM on a daily basis. For a free consultation, please email attorney Barry Edzant directly at BarryE@valencialaw.com and I will personally discuss your case with you. Be safe!