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.

Hyundai will be contacting a small number of 2017 Hyundai Ioniq owners regarding a defect affecting the Electronic Power Control Unit (EPCU) in their car. According to the defect report, the housing for the EPCU may contain small voids that could allow coolant to enter and contact the control unit’s circuit board. If this happens, the board could short and stall the vehicle.

Those receiving notices will be asked to return to their dealership to have the EPCU inspected and replaced as necessary. For more information about the problem, owners may contact Hyundai Customer Service at 1-800-633-5151. Hyundai’s number for this recall is 166 and the NHTSA campaign number is 17V-532.

Tesla has identified a problem affecting certain Universal Mobile Connector (UMC) adapters and will notify customers to get a replacement. The affected units may have an insufficiently welded electrical connection that could exhibit increased electrical resistance. The vehicle may detect a fault and interrupt charging or the adapter could become hot to the touch.

The charging adapter affected include:

Tesla will notify owners and will provide them with a replacement adapter. Owners wanting more information about the problem are asked to contact Tesla customer service at 1-877-798-3752. The NHTSA campaign number for this recall is 16E-091.

The owners of certain 2015-2016 Volkswagen e-Golf electric vehicles will be contacted by the manufacturer about a problem that could lead to sudden unexpected shutdown. Under certain conditions, oversensitive diagnostics in the battery management system may classify a brief internal electrical current surge as a critical battery condition. This could cause an emergency shutdown which will deactivates the vehicle’s electrical drive motor. Continue reading