Bolt EVs in Korea being recalled after fires
Korea’s Ministry of Transport on Wednesday ordered recalls of GM Korea’s Bolt EV, confirming that the all-electric car is prone to catching on fire.
The Korean units will be part of the Detroit-based General Motors' voluntary recall of 68,000 Bolt EVs announced earlier this month, citing potential battery fires.
GM Korea will recall 9,476 Bolt EVs manufactured between November 2016 and June 2019.
The entire batch is equipped with LG Chem lithium-ion batteries.
“The Bolt EV has the risk of catching fire when its high voltage battery is fully charged or near fully charged,” the ministry said in a statement Wednesday.
GM Korea will update software in the vehicles so batteries cannot be charged over 90 percent.
“There will be additional measures once the investigation finds out the exact causes of the fires,” the ministry added.
Electric vehicles (EVs) equipped with LG Chem lithium-ion batteries have been catching fire.
Hyundai Motor recalled 77,000 Kona SUVs globally last month after more than a dozen fires broke out in Korea in models manufactured between 2017 and 2020. They all run on LG batteries.
The cause of the fires hasn't been confirmed. Korea's Transport Ministry suspects a defect in the battery cells, citing an investigation by the Korea Automobile Testing & Research Institute. LG Chem says no cause has been determined and that fires did not occur during tests.
The Transport Ministry also recalled other non-electric models with defects that could severely jeopardize the drivers.
The Transport Ministry also ordered recalls of 81,417 Renault Samsung Motor SM3 sedans, which have seen unexpected engine shutdowns when air conditioners were turned on or the units were climbing or going down hilly roads.
Some 50,317 units of Hyundai Motor Tucson SUVs and 1,266 units of Kia Motors Stinger sports sedans will be recalled due to fire risks in hydraulic equipment.
BY JIN EUN-SOO [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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