NHTSA has opened a preliminary evaluation of Chevy Bolt 2017-2020 MY models after reports of potentially battery related rear seat fires.
The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has received two Vehicle Owner Questionnaires (VOQs) regarding a model year (MY) 2018 and a MY 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV and alleging that the vehicles caught fire under the rear seat while parked and unattended.
The ODI conducted additional research, and found a MY 2017 Bolt EV with a similar burn pattern in the interior rear seat area.
The office estimates there are more than 77,000 2017-2020 Chevy Bolt EVs on U.S. roads.
In the three cases identified, fire damage appeared to be concentrated in the EV battery compartment area with penetration into the passenger compartment from under the rear seat.
The root cause of these fires is unknown. One of these incidents, ODI 11230072, reported smoke inhalation injuries.
ODI is opening a Preliminary Evaluation to assess the scope, frequency, circumstances, and safety consequences of the alleged fires.
The reports cited above can be reviewed at NHTSA.gov under the following reference numbers: 11230072, 11339878.