GM Advising Some Chevy Bolt Owners To Park 50 Feet Away from Other Cars Is Slightly Concerning

by Matthew Memrick

Chevy Bolt battery issues have spurred carmaker GM to warn owners about parking, and it’s more than a little unsettling. 

CNBC reported that the carmaker wants owners to park their electric cars more than 50 feet away from other vehicles to prevent any potential fire from spreading.

A 2020 recall affected 68,000 Bolts over fire in regards to charging settings and software. In July 2021, GM issued another recall for 50,925 Bolts over the batteries and, you guessed it, fires. 

GM announced a $1.8 billion recall of more than 140,000 cars after 12 vehicles caught fire this time around. When more reports surfaced, the company said “two rare manufacturing defects” are to blame with the 2016 model.

Bloomberg News first reported the updated parking guidance.

If you have the car, go here to find out about the latest recall.

A Big Recall

The warning follows the automaker recalling more than 140,000 of the EVs produced since 2016 due to the risk of batteries spontaneously catching fire.

One car reportedly caught fire and spread to a Maserati and Hyundai in Sacramento, California.

GM spokesman Dan Flores said the parking advice goes for cars in parking lots of structures.

Previously, the company asked owners to park their Chevy Bolts outside, not charge them unattended overnight and change the car’s charging settings.

“In an effort to reduce potential damage to structures and nearby vehicles in the rare event of a potential fire, we recommend parking on the top floor or on an open-air deck and park 50 feet or more away from another vehicle,” Flores said in an email.

LG Chem produced the defective batteries in South Korea and Michigan. GM intends to get money for the recall from the Korean manufacturer. Both companies are working to fix the batteries and ramp up new Chevy Bolt modules for the potentially faulty battery packs.

Rocky Past

After the latest recall, the company has said it may buy back some Chevy Bolts. Some owners have been successful. To top things off, GM has announced it will keep Bolt production on hold until mid-October.

Past recalls have been a challenge with the batteries. With the July recall over nine Bolt fires, GM wanted owners not to charge their batteries more than 90 percent. The Reuters report said owners should charge after every use and don’t drain the battery below “approximately 70 miles of remaining range, where possible, to reduce the risk of a fire.”

Oh, and park the car outside too.

According to Autoweek, the car is a high seller. Chevy dealers moved 9,025 examples of the Bolt in the first three months of this year. The big sales period gave the Bolt its best-ever sales quarter since its debut in 2016. 

When the popular car hit the market in 2016, the Chevy Bolt was named the 2017 Motor Trend Car of the Year and the 2017 North American Car of the Year. Another magazine named Automobile named it a 2017 All-Star. Additionally, Time magazine dubbed it one of the best 25 Inventions of 2016.