Nathan Gardner is demanding a buyback from General Motors after his 2019 Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle almost caught fire in his garage.
In June 2021, his family returned home from a camping trip. He plugged the vehicle in to charge inside the garage. Within a short time, he smelled an intense heat. Gardner, who is a park ranger and firefighter, said his garage must have been at least 90 degrees inside.
“I felt along the rims and bottoms of the car,” Gardner told Detroit Free Press. “The inside wasn’t hot, but the lower areas near the battery were really hot. I would chalk that up to a close call.”
Gardner had paid $42,000 for the new 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV in October 2018. General Motors announced an initial recall on 2017–2019 Chevrolet Bolts in November 2020. Gardner said he abided by GM’s safety protocols: reduce the charging capacity, keep it parked outside, and don’t charge it overnight. When Gardner got GM’s repair in May, his dealer had told him that his vehicle was fine.
Gardner lives in Sonora, California, which is near many of the recent wildfires. He said that his vehicle is like a “firebomb,” and that these vehicles put owners, their families and their homes at an even greater risk.
“If my property caught on fire, we could be the reason that all of Sonora burns off the map,” Gardner told Detroit Free Press. “I can’t sleep at night knowing the car outside our home could possibly catch on fire.”
In August, Gardner received a letter from GM saying that it would repurchase his Bolt. As of September 8, Gardner said GM did not say how much it will pay for the vehicle. However, his dealer told him to expect $23,000, an amount he calls “insane.”
Source: Detroit Free Press