Guest essay by Eric Worrall
In the wake of a series of severe battery fires, General Motors has just issued a safety recommendation not to park your Chevy Bolt within 50ft of other vehicles, in case it catches fire.
GM tells Bolt owners to park 50 feet from other cars in parking garages, confirms 12 fires
Kalea Hall The Detroit News
Sep 15 2021
Detroit — As it seeks a solution to a battery fire risk, General Motors issued yet another safety recommendation Wednesday for Chevrolet Bolt owners: If you’re pulling into a parking deck, keep your car at least 50 feet away from other vehicles.
A customer’s concern about the safety of leaving their electric vehicle in a parking garage led the automaker to provide the additional guidance to owners of the Bolts, all of which GM has recalled, spokesman Dan Flores said.
“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 a statement. “Additionally, we still request you do not leave your vehicle charging unattended, even if you are using a charging station in a parking deck.”
GM recently had to recall every Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV — more than 141,000 — after the batteries caught fire in a handful of the electric vehicles. GM and battery supplier LG Energy Solution are working to understand how two “rare” battery defects believed to be the cause of the fires occurred. The automaker has confirmed 12 Bolt battery fires, up from 10 when it issued its latest recall last month.
“We are aware of 12 GM confirmed battery fires that have been investigated involving Bolt EVs vehicles in the previous and new recall population,” Flores said. “There have been three reports of injuries. We continue to share data with NHTSA.”
…Read more: https://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/autos/general-motors/2021/09/15/chevrolet-bolt-gm-tells-owners-park-50-feet-from-other-cars/8355134002/
What a gift for insurance scammers – just park a Chevy Bolt in the building, and nobody will question the insurance claim when the building burns down.
On a serious note, in my opinion a risk of this magnitude is going to start having a real impact, on whether EVs are allowed into carparks or on ferries, unless the problem is rectified real fast.
Lithium fires are horribly difficult to extinguish, and emit dangerously toxic fumes which can cause long term or even permanent dementia like brain injuries, along with a host of other usually reversible harms.
Earlier this year I asked a serving fire fighter how they extinguish Lithium automobile battery fires. He said “We can’t. We cordon off the area, and spray a fine mist of water on the fire to try to keep the temperature down, then wait for it to burn itself out.”.