In September 2019, the NHTSA was asked to initiate an investigation into certain Tesla Model S and Model X vehicles that received a revised battery management software update in one or more over-the-air updates from Tesla, beginning in May 2019. The petitioner based his request on vehicle fires that took place worldwide and over the air software updates Tesla made to the Battery Management System (BMS) of certain Tesla vehicles that resulted in loss of available vehicle mileage range and increased charging duration’s.

The five non-crash fires referenced in the petition include two fires that occurred in China in early 2019 involving vehicles that:

  • Had recently completed Supercharging sessions.
  • Were at a high state-of-charge (SOC) of the HV battery.
  • Were parked with the battery cooling system shutoff.
  • Had histories of high-stress usage for the HV batteries.

The three fires that occurred outside China did not involve the same patterns regarding vehicle state and charging history. The two fires that occurred in the United States include one involving a vehicle with no Supercharging history that was driving when the fire occurred and another in which the origin of the fire was external to the HV battery. The fifth fire, which also originated external to the HV battery, involved a vehicle in Germany that had been parked at a low SOC for an extended period. To date, incidents of fires involving parked vehicles with recent Supercharging and histories of high-stress use have only been observed in China, where high-stress use factors appear to be more common.

Given the absence of any incidents in the United States related to fast charging, and the absence of any such incidents globally since May 2019, the petition has been denied. The denial of this petition does not stop the Agency from taking further action if future findings find that a safety defect exists based on additional information received. NHTSA could initiate a recall if they find a defect in the design, construction, or performance of a motor vehicle that presents an unreasonable risk to safety.

This is an expansion of NHTSA Recall 20V-701 and 21V-560.

General Motors has decided that a defect which relates to motor vehicle safety exists in 2020-2022 Chevrolet Bolt EVs and 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUVs. The high voltage batteries in these vehicles may pose a fire risk when charged to full, or very close to full, capacity.

Defective battery modules will be replaced, but until then, GM advises owners to Activate either the Hill Top Reserve (2017 and 2018 models) or Target Charge Level (2019 models) feature in their vehicle to limit the charge level to 90%, charge their vehicle more frequently, avoid depleting the battery to 70 miles range remaining, park outside after charging, and do not charge the vehicle indoors overnight.

Interim notification letters notifying owners of the safety risk were mailed on August 13, 2021. Owner notification letters were mailed on August 13, 2021. GM’s number for this recall is N212343880 and the latest NHTSA campaign number is 21V-650.

If you are a Chevy Bolt owner living in California and you received a recall notice for battery fires, you may find it difficult to park your vehicle.

General Motor’s recent recall of certain 2017-2019 Chevy Bolt EVs is caused by the presence of two manufacturing defects in the N2.1 battery cell produced at their Korea facility. The problem is aggravated by charging the battery to a full or nearly full state of charge after it has been substantially depleted. The battery could overheat, emit smoke and catch fire, causing damage to vehicle components and structures around it. As a temporary solution, GM have asked owners to reprogram their hybrid propulsion control module to limit a full charge, but some owners say they are experiencing problems.

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.

What options does that leave you? Possibly parking your car on the street or driveway which has problems in itself. Most charging cables are not long enough to reach the street, the cables could be damaged or stolen or someone could trip on them. Also in some cities there are restrictions against parking in the street and driveways.

If you own a Chevy Bolt and are concerned, we will be glad to talk with you. Please contact us today at 888-EX-Lemon (888-395-3666) for a free consultation or complete the short form at the top of this page.

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 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.

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.

 

An investigation into battery fires in certain 2017-2019 Chevrolet Bolt EVs has resulted in a recall involving approximately 50,000 vehicles.

According to the defect report, if the batteries in certain vehicles within this population are charged to full capacity or close to full capacity, they could be at risk of overheating and catching fire. GM is still investigating the cause of the problem and will notifying owners of an interim repair where the hybrid propulsion control module will limit the battery to a 90% charge. A final remedy is still under development.

Owners are advised to activate either the Hill Top Reserve (2017 and 2018 models) or Target Charge Level (2019 models) feature in their vehicle to limit the charge level to 90%, or park outside, until the software update is completed.

GM’s number for this recall is N202311730 and the NHTSA campaign number is 20V-701.