In recent years, the Chevrolet Bolt EV has been at the center of multiple recalls, drawing attention to significant safety concerns.
We break down the details of the recall, focusing on the reasons behind the defect, the specific models affected, and the measures General Motors has taken to address these issues.
The latest defects in seat belt pretensioners, are part of a long list of Chevrolet Bolt EV recalls affecting owners.
We explore the recall’s impact, the technical aspects of the defects, and the broader implications for the EV manufacturer and owners.
Can the Lemon Law help owners find a resolution to get out of their fire-prone Chevy Bolts?
General Motors, LLC initially had issued recall 22V-930 when the issue was first discovered on September 15, 2022.
A follow-up safety recall (23V-845) was issued for certain 2017-2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV vehicles, potentially involving 6,614 vehicles with an estimated 93% having the defect.
This recall, submitted on December 14, 2023, addresses a safety issue where the seatbelt pretensioner may not have been properly installed during a previous recall (22V930).
The defect poses a risk of fire near the B-pillar if the pretensioner deploys in a crash, increasing the risk of injury.
This issue was submitted to GM’s Speak Up For Safety (SUFS) program on September 15, 2022, following a report of a 2018 model year Chevrolet Bolt EV in Korea that experienced a fire appearing to have originated in the right-side lower B-pillar area.
GM opened an investigation on October 24, 2022. GM’s investigation identified a total of three potentially relevant field incidents in the subject vehicles involving exhaust from a deployed pretensioner igniting carpet fibers near the B-pillar.
GM received notice of these claims on May 26, 2021, August 29, 2022, and October 17, 2022.
On December 8, 2022, GM’s Safety Field Action Decision Authority (SFADA) decided to conduct a safety recall.
After this recall was issued, a GM employee submitted this issue again to GM’s Speak Up For Safety (SUFS) program on August 29, 2023, following a dealer report that 66 vehicles that received the recall remedy in GM recall 22V930 at Simpson Chevrolet of Irvine were in fact not repaired.
GM opened a product investigation on October 10, 2023. GM’s investigation reviewed GM service records and identified additional evidence that Simpson Chevrolet of Irvine may have failed to perform the recall repair in connection with GM recall 22V930.
In addition, the GM dealer that identified the 66 vehicles included in the original SUFS report subsequently identified additional vehicles serviced by Simpson Chevrolet that were marked closed in GM’s systems but did not receive the recall repair.
GM’s field data analysis found no complaints or incidents associated with this condition.
On December 7, 2023, GM’s Safety Field Action Decision Authority (SFADA) decided to conduct a safety recall
on all 22V930 repairs closed by Simpson Chevrolet of Irvine through December 4, 2023.
GM has provided a solution for the seatbelt issue and has provided dealerships with how to correctly fix this issue.
The remedy involves inspecting and, if necessary, installing metal foil at the carpet near the pretensioner exhaust and adding a pretensioner cover.
This design change, implemented in production on October 25, 2022, prevents the ignition of carpet material from the pretensioner exhaust.
Dealers will be notified on December 14, 2023, and owner notification is estimated to begin on January 29, 2024.
GM has decided that because owners would not be aware of this issue on their own, it would be impossible to fix the issue independently.
Therefore, out-of-pocket expenses caused by this defect, would not exist, and issuing a reimbursement notice to owners would not make sense.
The Lemon Law protects Chevy Bolt EV owners who have faced multiple recalls, particularly concerning battery issues that pose fire risks.
Under the Lemon Law, owners of defective vehicles, like the Chevy Bolt EV, have legal recourse if their vehicle has persistent problems that significantly impair its use, value, or safety, and if these issues are not resolved after a reasonable number of repair attempts.
In states like California and New Jersey, specific criteria such as the vehicle being out of service for a certain number of days can trigger Lemon Law protection.
This law empowers Chevy Bolt owners to seek a resolution, which can include a buyback, replacement, or financial compensation from the manufacturer.
The California Lemon Law thus offers a path to resolution for owners who have endured repeated inconveniences and safety concerns due to ongoing vehicle defects, ensuring they are not left at a disadvantage due to the recurring issues with their vehicle.
The recall affects Chevrolet Bolt EVs from the 2017 through 2023 model years. It specifically targets a seat belt component issue that could potentially cause fires in these vehicles.
The recall is due to a problem with the seat belt pretensioners. In certain situations, the pretensioner exhaust may ignite carpet fibers near the B-pillar after deployment, leading to a potential fire hazard.
Approximately 6614 Chevrolet Bolt electric cars with recall 22V930 completed by Simpson Chevrolet of Irvine are affected by this recall.
Owners of the affected Bolt EV models should contact Simpson Chevrolet of Irvine and schedule a repair. The dealership will inspect and, if necessary, repair the seat belt pretensioners to resolve the issue.