Over the last few months, we've seen no shortage of coverage of Chevy Bolt fires and recalls by the automotive, tech, and mainstream press. Of course, the Bolt EV / EUV recall is a big deal: it's the first 100% "full-fleet" safety recall of any mass-market EV, and the resulting fires have legitimately catastrophic consequences.
But it's worth asking: is a disproportionate amount of ink being spilled on this recall just because it's EV-related - and therefore new, different, and perhaps a bit scary?
As a Bolt owner, as a dad in a 2-EV household, and as an engineer who works on battery electronics daily, I believe a bigger-picture perspective on the Bolt recall is well-warranted.
The first thing articles and posts about the Bolt recalls tend to leave out is the general prevalence of "park outdoors" fire recalls: they're nothing new. In just the last few years, many major manufacturers have issued recalls for large swaths of mass-market fossil-fueled vehicles:
All of these recalls included guidance to park affected vehicles outdoors, and away from other vehicles or buildings. Taken in the context of these 4,000,000+ non-EVs recalled, the 180,000-or-so Bolts GM has called back begins to sound a bit paltry.