General Motors (GM) has decided that a defect affecting seat belt safety exists in certain 2017-2023 Chevrolet Bolt EVs. GM will be contacting owners of affected vehicles with instructions to return to their dealership to have the problem corrected by installing fire barriers.
GM first became aware of the problem in September 2022 after receiving a report of a 2018 Chevy Bolt EV that experienced a fire. The fire seemed to originate in the right side lower pillar in the area of the pretensioner. GM opened an investigation into the incident and identified a total of three field incidents where exhaust from a deployed pretensioner ignited carpet fibers near the B-pillar. By December, GM’s Safety Field Action Decision Authority (SFADA) decided to conduct a safety recall.
The problem arises during certain crash conditions that require the front seat belt pretensioners to deploy. According to the defect report, the temperature of the exhaust from a deployed pretensioner may be sufficient enough to ignite carpet and other materials in close proximity to the pretensioner.
Owners receiving notices will be asked to return to their dealership to have a metal foil barrier added between the carpet and pretensioner. Some vehicles will also require the installation of a pretensioner cover that will prevent the ignition of carpet material from pretensioner exhaust.
This recall will be launched in two phases, under bulletins N222383790 and N222383791. Notification to owners of vehicles that require only the installation of the foil barrier is estimated to begin on January 30, 2023. Owners of vehicles that also require installation of the pretensioner cover will begin receiving interim notification on January 30, 2023, with a second notification when parts become available. The NHTSA campaign number for this recall is 22V-930.