Late last month, General Motors voluntarily recalled every Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle ever made because of a potential battery defect that could cause a fire. The automaker issued guidelines on safely operating the EV while it sought a fix, which it has now found. The automaker announced today its plan to fix the Bolt and Bolt EUV batteries, which includes replacing modules in some vehicles while installing software in others
The announcement arrives alongside news that LG battery plants have resumed production, with new, fixed battery modules expected to begin shipping to dealers as soon as mid-October, according to the company’s press release. However, not every Bolt will get a new pack. The automaker plans to only replace all the modules in 2017 to 2019 models, according to Automotive News. Those built from 2020 to 2022 will only have their batteries replaced if they’re determined to be defective. The new packs will come with an 8-year/100,000-mile limited warranty
The other part of GM’s fix is a new diagnostic software that monitors the car’s battery for any anomalies that could indicate it’s damaged. The software would alert the owners, too. GM plans to install the software on 2017-2019 Bolt models waiting for their battery replacement. GM will run the software on the 2020-2022 models to determine if the vehicle needs its battery module replaced. If there no issues are found, then 2020-2022 owners can operate their vehicles as normal. It’ll be about 60 days before customers can begin scheduling to have the software installed.
“We’re grateful for the patience of owners and dealers as we work to advance solutions to this recall,” commented Doug Parks, GM executive vice president, global product development, purchasing and supply chain. “Resuming battery module production is a first step and we’ll continue to work aggressively with LG to obtain additional battery supply. In addition, we’re optimistic a new advanced diagnostic software will provide more convenience for our customers.”
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The recall forced GM to halt Bolt production while it sought a fix for the problem, which the company attributed to two manufacturing defects – a folded separator and a torn anode fab. According to Automotive News, Bolt production won’t resume until at least October 15, and the recall affects more than 110,000 vehicles in the US.