General Motors is recalling 66 of its BrightDrop EV600 all-electric delivery vans following reports of fires caused by a manufacturing error in the front drive unit. The automaker initiated the recall after becoming aware of the issue on December 8, prompted by a fire incident reported a day earlier.
Subsequent to the initial report, another fire incident at the front of one of the vehicles was reported on December 13, leading GM to launch an investigation into the front drive units. The company determined that a manufacturing error during a specific production window may have resulted in the installation of an out-of-specification drive pinion. This, in turn, could cut through the casing and lead to oil leakage, causing under-hood fires.
Acknowledging the potential danger of automotive fires, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) expressed concern over the issue. While GM is still working to identify the root cause of the manufacturing error, it has taken steps to minimize the risk to EV600 drivers.
Given that BrightDrop delivery vehicles are primarily sold to fleet operators, GM is able to pinpoint the affected vehicles. Commencing February 15, the automaker plans to replace the recalled EV600s in accordance with its agreement with the fleet customer involved, although the specific company has not been disclosed. The replacement vehicles will feature front drive units produced to specification, addressing the identified manufacturing flaw.