Chevrolet Bolt EV owner Hajime Rojas of Fairfax, Virginia says her 2019 electric car started smoking on the 4th of July. She says that smoke grew and she had no idea what might happen next. She also has no clue as to why the Bolt overheated in the first place. Rojas called 911. The responders didn't notice any visible flames, but the heat melted the car and it was declared a total loss by Rojas's insurance company.
After spending over $40,000 on the car and only owning it for 18 months, she was clearly upset over the situation. The firefighters that arrived at the scene didn't share the cause with Rojas, as they were probably unable to pinpoint it. They did, however, check out the Bolt's lithium-ion battery.
Rojas was confused about why this was happening. She wondered if it was common. Some research told her that many other Chevy Bolts have been victims of fires. Rojas' next step was to contact GM and ask it to investigate, though she says it refused to do so. In fact, according to Rojas, the company said the issue was now in her insurance company's hands. She feared that this could happen to someone else, so she turned to her local "7 On Your Side" news team. Rojas shared:
“If I don’t say anything and I hear later on that this happened to someone else, I’m going to feel like I had a chance to say something and I didn’t.”
Of course, once the news team contacted GM, it said it will investigate the problem. In addition, due to the news coverage, Rojas was able to get the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration's (NHTSA) attention. NHTSA made it clear that it is apprised of the situation and looking into it.