General Motors Co. is recalling its all-electric Chevrolet Bolt for a second time because of a potential battery defect that can cause a fire, underscoring the technical challenges car companies face as they race to develop more plug-in vehicles.
GM said Friday that its investigation into recent battery fires involving the cars found that manufacturing defects in a certain battery cell were the root cause. It is asking owners of 2017-2019 model year Bolts to keep their electric-vehicle charges at a certain level and to park the cars outside after charging them.
Under the previous recall, initiated in November, owners of 69,000 Bolts were advised to get a software update that would monitor the condition of the lithium-ion battery and flag any potential problems.
GM has since learned that at least one battery fire occurred in a vehicle that had received the software update, the company spokesman said. The company is aware of eight fires total and two related injuries but no deaths, he said.
“Unfortunately the software update was not fully effective in addressing the safety risk in the vehicle, hence the second recall,” the spokesman said.