By Joseph Chalfant

General Motors (GM) is recalling almost 70,000 of its Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles (EV) due to a battery-related fire hazard.

The company made the decision after it was unable to resolve an issue that caused at least nine cars to catch fire while parked. The recall fix could replace battery modules or the entire battery system in their 2017 to 2019 models, according to CNN.

“As part of GM’s commitment to safety, experts from GM and LG have identified the simultaneous presence of two rare manufacturing defects in the same battery cell as the root cause of battery fires in certain Chevrolet Bolt EVs,” the company said in a release. “As a result, GM will be conducting a new recall for the previous population of Bolt EVs (2017-2019) to address the risk of battery fires in these vehicles.”

The Bolt is GM’s only EV on the North American market. It’s significantly increased in popularity as the EV market has expanded through 2020 and into 2021. GM reported a 142% increase in sales during the first half of 2021, a 20,000 unit increase over sales from the same period in 2020, according to CNN.

GM asked owners to take several precautions as the recall begins.

“Customers should, whether or not they received the current software update, return their vehicle to the 90% state of charge limitation using Hilltop Reserve mode (for 2017-2018 model years) or Target Charge Level (for 2019 model year) mode,” said GM. “If customers are unable to successfully make these changes, or do not feel comfortable making these changes, we are asking them to visit their dealer to have these adjustments completed.”

Bolt owners were also instructed to stop charging their vehicles overnight and park them outside when charging is complete. They were told to avoid running the battery down to 70 miles of range or fewer as well.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) urged owners to take even stricter precautions, according to Autoweek.

“Vehicles should be parked outside regardless of whether the interim or final recall remedies have been completed,” said the NHTSA. “NHTSA is aware of two recent Chevrolet Bolt EV fires in vehicles that received the recall remedy.”