Chevy Bolt

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issues safety warning about Chevy Bolt

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a warning to owners of 2017-2019 Chevrolet Bolts, urging them not to park in garages or near structures and to refrain from overnight charging.

In November, General Motors recalled more than 50,000 Chevy Bolts due to potential fire risks posed by high-voltage batteries underneath the back seat. Battery packs can smoke and ignite – regardless of whether the vehicle has gone through the recall repair process or not. In the most recent alert, NHTSA reported that two Chevy Bolt fires occurred in vehicles that had gone through the recall remedy.

NFPA and organizations like the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have been working to educate audiences about electric vehicles (EV), particularly first responders.  Over the last twelve years, NFPA has worked with every auto/truck/bus manufacturer who sells EVs and hybrids in this country and has received pre-market safety information so that responders have the most up-to-date training, tools, and resources. The NFPA EV Safety Training website is the most accessed repository in the U.S. for EV responder safety information. NTSB also investigated four unrelated EV incidents and released a thorough report in November on hazards and gaps.

Earlier this year, NFPA covered this topic when two occupants of a Tesla were killed in a fiery crash in Texas. Then right before the high-travel Memorial Day holiday weekend, NFPA collaborated with major fire organizations to get the word out about the unique challenges associated with EVs.

To keep pace with an influx of energy-efficient cars on the roadways, NFPA applied for and secured two new Department of Energy (DOE) grants. The first, entitled NFPA Spurs the Safe Adoption of EVs through Education and Outreach, will allow NFPA to develop free EV awareness training for utilities, code officials, charging station installers, EV fleet owners, tow and salvage responders, crash reconstruction teams, manufacturers, dealerships, garage maintenance workers, insurance companies, and EV owners. A second effort calls for enhancing and promoting an NFPA Distributed Energy Resources Safety Training program. NFPA will update its current EV Safety classroom training for the fire service and develop an online gamification version of the distributed energy resource including how to respond to electric vehicle fires.

To learn more about EV safety, visit www.nfpa.org/EV

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Cathy Longley
Communications Manager, informing stakeholders about NFPA thought leadership, subject matter expertise, resources, initiatives & research.

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