General Motors has announced another recall of 140,000 2017-2023 Chevy Bolts due to a potential fire hazard.
The automaker said that a design flaw in the vehicle’s seatbelt pretensioner could spew flammable gas onto the floorboard carpet, which could then catch fire in an accident. GM has not confirmed if any fatalities or injuries have resulted from this oversight, but did claim that occurrences in Chevy Bolts were rare.
The company’s flagship EV has proven to be somewhat of a problem child, possibly hampering the automaker’s long term plans. A near identical recall was issued last year, when the company discovered that the Chevy Bolt’s batteries, sourced from tech manufacturer LG, caught fire in twelve different instances. Not only did this delay production, as the company waited for its supplier to rectify the issue, but it also soured public opinion on the brand.
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Regardless, the Bolt lineup has some of the cheapest EVs in the U.S., hovering around $30,000 despite a $66,000 market average in November. One of the biggest obstacles consumers face to ditching their gas-guzzlers are the price tags on alternatives, making the Chevy Bolt a perfect solution. Introducing budget-friendly electric cars are also a perfect way for automakers to challenge Tesla, who has so far continued to focus on the luxury market and high-income consumers.
However, if GM wishes to be the face of budget-friendly EVs, tackling the safety concerns surrounding its products should be priority number one. Although most buyers and dealerships would doubtlessly prefer design flaws are discovered before cars become available for purchase, GM’s willingness to issue massive recalls at the very least indicates their awareness of this fact.
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