General Motors will be contacting the owners of certain Chevrolet Bolt EVs and EUVs for two separate problems. A small number of 2022 Chevy Bolt EVs and EUVs may have been manufactured with improperly tightened or missing airbag fasteners and approximately 50,413 2017-2019 Chevy Bolt EVs are at risk of a battery fire.
2022 Chevy Bolt EVs and EUVs Airbags Improperly Installed: In June 2021, a GM quality manager submitted a report to GM’s Speak Up For Safety program following reports of vehicles missing steering wheel airbag fasteners that caused the airbag cover to be poorly seated. GM determined that these vehicles were taken off-line during manufacturing and the technician did not fully complete installation of the steering wheel airbag. The issue was reviewed by GM’s Open Investigation Review and GM’s Safety Field Action Decision Authority (SFADA) decided to conduct a safety recall.
Dealers will inspect the driver airbag fasteners, replace any missing fasteners and assure that all fasteners are properly installed. If proper torque can not be achieved, the driver airbag assembly will be replaced. GM’s number for this recall is N212343880 and the NHTSA campaign number is 21V-560.
2017-2019 Chevy Bolt EV Battery Fire: The condition is specific to vehicles involved in NHTSA recall 20V-701. Through additional investigation, GM have now identified the cause, and are commencing a new recall to replace defective battery modules in the recall population.
The cause is the presence of two rare manufacturing defects in the same battery cell in design level N2.1 batteries produced at LG Chem’s Ochang, Korea facility. The condition appears to be aggravated by routinely charging the battery to a full or nearly full state of charge after it has been substantially depleted. The battery may overheat, emit smoke and could damage other vehicle components.
Defective battery modules will be replaced by GM, free of charge. Interim notifications are expected to be mailed September 6, 2021. A second letter will be mailed once the final remedy is available. GM’s number for this recall is N212343880 and the NHTSA campaign number is 21V-560.
General Motors will be contacting owners of select 2017-2019 model year Chevrolet Bolt EVs previously repaired under National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) campaign number 20V-701.
The problem began in October 2020 when the NHTSA started an investigation into owner complaints of battery fires while their Bolt EV was charging. To reduce the risk of fires, GM provided a temporary fix in which the the vehicle’s software was updated to limit it’s charge to 90% of the battery’s capacity.
As part of the final repair, dealers will use diagnostic tools to identify potential battery anomalies and replace battery module assemblies as necessary. The fix will also include the installation of advanced onboard diagnostic software that detects potential issues related to changes in battery module performance. Customers will need to visit their Chevrolet EV dealer to have the service procedure performed. Once the remedy procedure is completed, the dealer will remove the 90% state of charge limitation and return the battery to its previous 100% charging capability.
Customers of 2019 model year Chevrolet Bolt EVs will be able to have this fix performed starting on April 29 and customers who own 2017 and 2018 model year Bolt EVs will be eligible to have the remedy performed by the end of May. GM will be making this diagnostic software standard in the 2022 Bolt EV and EUV future electric vehicles. According to GM, if a problem is diagnosed, the software will warn the driver with an illuminated warning lamp on the gauge cluster and drivers would need to have the vehicle towed to a dealer for repairs.
Hyundai Motor America will be asking owners of certain 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Electric and 2019-2020 Hyundai Kona Electric vehicles to return to their dealerships because of a problem affecting the lithium-ion battery.
In March 2019 Hyundai received three reports of Kona electric vehicles catching fire while parked. All vehicles involved were reportedly parked with a fully charged battery. Further investigation found several similar incidents which initiated an investigation into the problem. As a result of this investigation, a campaign was launched to upgrade the BMS software for early detection of abnormalities in the battery while the vehicle is parked. The software update was developed as a fail safe countermeasure as they continued their investigation
In February 2021 Hyundai became aware of a Kona EV. with the updated software. that caught fire while at full state of charge. Further investigation into the cause found an internal short within the battery cells caused by a folded Anode tab could result in Lithium plating on the Anode tab to contact and short circuit to the Cathode. Based on this information a safety campaign will be conducted to replace the Battery System Assembly (BSA)
Once parts are available, dealers will replace the Battery System Assembly (BSA). Owners are advised to park their vehicles outside and away from structures until the recall is complete. The recall is expected to begin end of April. Hyundai’s number for this recall is 200 and the NHTSA campaign number is 21V-127.
In October 2020 the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) started an investigation of the Chevrolet Bolt EV because of potential battery fires while charging. In November, Chevrolet announced a recall affecting 2017-2018 and select 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EVs manufactured by LG Chem’s Ochang Korea facility. More than 68,000 Chevy Bolt EV’s have been recalled.
The safety recall from the NHTSA states the following:
As an interim remedy, dealers will reprogram the hybrid propulsion control module 2 9HPCM2) to limit full charge to 90%. Until this interim reedy 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.
Pursuant to 49 C.F.R. 573.13(d)(1), all covered vehicles are under warranty, so reimbursement is not offered.
The revised software will limit the vehicle’s full charge to 90% of the battery’s capacity.
Design level N2.1 battery cells wre no longer used in production after 2019 model year.
The final remedy is still under development. Owners were notified of the interim repair beginning November 17, 2020. A second notice will be mailed when the final repair becomes available. GM’s number for this recall is N202311730 and the NHTSA campaign number is 20V-701 .
If you own one of these vehicles and are concerned or have questions about your recourse under the California Lemon Law, please contact the Law Office of Barry L. Edzant at 888-395-3666 to speak with the attorney.
Honda will be asking owners of certain 2018-2020 Accord, 2018-2020 Accord Hybrid and 2019-2020 Insight vehicles, to return to their dealerships to repair a problem that could affect various electrical systems in their vehicles.
According to the defect report, a software programming error combined with certain driver actions could disrupt the communication between the body control module (BCM) and other systems. The problem could result in illumination of several warning indicators and the malfunction of one or more electronic components. The affected components include:
- Windshield defrosting and defogging.
- Windshield wiping and washing.
- Headlights and turning indicators.
- Rear view camera display.
- Warnings for electrolyte spillage and electrical shock protection on electric powered vehicles.
- Audible warning of a stopped vehicle and placing it into park.
- Powered windows, partition and roof panels.
Owners receiving notices will be asked to return to their dealerships to have the BCM software updated. Honda’s number for this recall is X95 and the NHTSA campaign number is 20V-771.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have opened an investigation into certain 2017-2020 Chevrolet Bolt electric cars after several complaints of vehicle fires. The NHTSA says it was contacted by two owners who reported that their Bolt EVs caught fire while parked and unattended. In one case the vehicle was plugged into a charger in the owner’s driveway when it caught fire. The second vehicle was parked but not plugged in approximately 20 minutes after being driven, before it caught fire. Additional research by the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) found a third vehicle, a 2017 Bolt EV with a similar burn patterns.
In all three cases, fire damage appeared to come from the battery compartment with fire passing into the passenger compartment from under the rear seat. The root cause of the fires is unknown and the ODI is opening a “preliminary evaluation” into the matter. If the investigation results in a vehicle recall, approximately 78,000 Chevy Bolt EVs would be affected.
Ford will be asking owners of certain 2013-2015 Ford C-Max Energi and Fusion Energi, and 2012-2015 Ford Focus Electric vehicles, to return to their dealers for a problem affecting the 120V convenience charge chord. (Cords affected include part numbers FM58-10B706-AA, FM58-10B706-AB, FM58-10B706-AC, FM58-10B706-AD, FM58-10B706-AE and FM58-10B706-AF.)
According to the defect report, the cord originally provided with these vehicles are missing a thermistor used to identify over temperature conditions. If the defective cord is used in combination with an AC outlet that is not on a dedicated circuit, is damaged, worn or corroded, it could experience an increased contact resistance and could overheat. Early indicators that a problem exists include: incomplete or slow charge cycles, inability to charge, burning odors or visible melting damage.
Dealers will replace the current cord with a new 120V convenience cord with a thermistor. Ford’s number for this recall is 18S24 and the NHTSA campaign number is 18V-592.
A small number of 2016 Toyota Prius owners will be contacted by the manufacturer regarding a problem affecting the hybrid propulsion system. Some vehicles were manufactured with an inverter assembly which contains a capacitor that may not have been properly attached to the inverter housing. Over time the terminal of the capacitor may become damaged by normal vehicle vibrations which could eventually result in a hybrid system shut down.
All known owners of the subject vehicles that have not received the repair will be notified directly via telephone to return to their dealerships to have the inverter replaced. Owners wanting more information about the defect may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331. Toyota’s number for this recall is H0U and the NHTSA campaign number is 17V-658.