*UPDATE – Possible Chevy Bolt Battery Cell Failure Prompts GM Statement / Recall

MAY 11 2018 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 225

In general, electric cars are known to be highly reliable and battery cell issues usually aren’t a concern.

***UPDATE – MAY 11 – GM has extended this recall to include Model Year 2018 Bolts. Here’s the statement from GM (via Green Car Reports):

“General Motors is looking at the entire Bolt EV fleet to ensure everyone has the most updated software available. Through letters we are asking all Bolt EV customers to schedule a service appointment to receive the latest software, including the 2017 owners who received the previously released software calibration. In the event of a cell low voltage condition, this new software increases the accuracy of the range estimation, in addition to providing more warning at low states of charge. We understand this is an inconvenience for some customers to service their vehicles again so soon. However, we want to give our customers the most updated software as soon as it’s available.”

***UPDATE – GM has released a couple of clarification statements to InsideEVs. You’ll find these clarifications at the appropriate points in the text below.

Of course, for every generalization there are examples that don’t fit the mold.

And then there are those standouts, that for some reason exceed all expectations.

Just like any other advanced product out there, you should expect to see a few bad apples here and there and that’s what we’re now witnessing in connection to the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt.

Our friends over at Electric Revs have been covering this issue for quite some time now, but it just recently became more broad with General Motors acknowledging and attempting to address the problem.

First up, some background.

Faulty cells in some 2017 Model Year Year Chevy Bolts have been found to lead to a no propulsion problem where the car loses drive power. In some circumstances, this could potentially be very dangerous. GM has been monitoring this problem via its OnStar app, which actually keeps an eye on battery health. It now appears that GM is convinced of a possible problem.

Early last week, the automaker began sending notices to all 2017 Bolt owners. Here’s a sample notice via Electric Revs:

GM’s actions are perhaps a bit unexpected. Rather than seeking out affected units and replacing cells or battery packs, the automaker says it will perform a software update that will “ provide additional warnings if a battery cell low voltage condition occurs, which could cause the vehicle to reduce or lose propulsion.” 

***GM statement added – Chris Bonelli, Coordinator, Global Advanced Technology Communications:

“We continue to monitor Bolt EVs in the field via OnStar and are proactively contacting owners to have their batteries serviced as soon as our diagnostics confirm batteries are suspect. The software calibration is an additional measure for our customers’ safety.”

Here’s GM’s full statement on the matter:

“GM issued a customer satisfaction bulletin today asking 2017 Bolt EV customers to contact their dealer to schedule service for a software update. This action is not a safety recall. The new calibration software will provide additional warnings if a battery cell low voltage condition occurs, which could cause the vehicle to reduce or lose propulsion. Only some vehicles may experience the battery low voltage cell condition, but we are asking all 2017 vehicles to participate in the program.”

So, if you own a 2017 Bolt (2018s are apparently not affected by this), then you’ll be asked/required to bring your car in for a software update free of charge. This update won’t fix faulty cells (software can’t work miracles), but it will provide you with an advanced warning if a cell is failing and that should allow you time to remove your vehicle from the roadway prior to complete power loss.

The recall has not yet been posted on the NHTSA site, but should show up there soon.

***GM statement added:

“As the GM statement reads, this is not a safety recall. It will not be posted on the NHTSA website as such.”

Source: Electric Revs

Categories: Chevrolet

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225 Comments on "*UPDATE – Possible Chevy Bolt Battery Cell Failure Prompts GM Statement / Recall"

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Just to be clear, the % of affected 2017 units is still very small (<1% from what I've heard), but this update is being applied to all '17 Bolts out of an abundance of caution to make sure any Bolts that are eventually affected by the low voltage condition don't immediately die on the road.

My Nov '16 build Bolt with over 18k miles on it is still going strong. I'll eventually get the update applied, but no rush to do so. I have a way to monitor the cell voltages anyways, so I can see if one of the cells is going bad.

Hopefully there will be civil discourse on the matter. Unfortunately, the bad precedent has been set… by GM supporters no less… that any type of after-the-fact update is a crisis.

It’s a sad reality when a very small number of vehicles are affected and even fewer will actually experience an issue that the situation is blown way out of proportion by those wanting to impede progress.

History can teach us to look at things like this objective, because if you don’t, it will come back to bite you.

Stimpacker

Well, more info would have been helpful.
All 2017 models? Can’t narrow it down?
Will it happen if battery soc is above say 20%?
How much advanced notice will the software update provide?

Doesn’t matter if it is less than 1% chance. Imagine telling your wife:
Your car may stop anytime.
You may get rear ended.
Software update may give you X minute/mile warning.

This isn’t FUD, any owner will want to know. Will you be going on 100 mile trips with your family and taking that chance?

terminaltrip421

I know, right? nothing like this ever happens with an ICE. or maybe you’ve never had a serpentine belt go. or your fuel pump. or clogged injectors. not only will they have similar outcomes but if you attempt to continue to drive them assuming you haven’t lost power you will potentially to irrevocable damage to the pistons, cylinders etc.

I’ve had the thermostat and coolant system blow out that also instantly disabled an ICE car. Lots of things can go wrong with ICEs.

terminaltrip421

oh I also lost my fuel line once and not only did I lose all power but I was breathing noxious fumes and spilling gas everywhere.

stimpacker

Nope, none of your “crap” ever happened to me in my ICE. All of my ICE vehicles have never suddenly died.

Besides, are you saying any owner of an ICE vehicle has a 1% chance of getting stranded every time? I hate to call BS, but what else can this be?

Also, where did @bro1999 hear that this is < 1% chance?

PS: I'm not a Tesla fanboi, since @PP called me a FUDster, Liar and Russian Troll when recently commented on a Tesla topic.

Pushmi-Pullyu

I’d say the evidence is pretty strong that you were not a Tesla fanboy well before that.

Stimpacker

@PP,
Stay on topic. Personal attacks are immature and will only lead to moderation. You don’t know how much I’ve been doing to promote EVs, especially Tesla.

Pushmi-Pullyu

Stating an observed fact, without saying anything that could even remotely be considered a pejorative, is a “personal attack”?

WOW! dude. Take a stress tab and chill out!

Nope. Noting when someone keeps singling out one single auto maker for negative, biased, and mostly untrue comments, especially off-topic ones… that isn’t a personal attack, either. It’s an objective factual observation.

Knut Erik Ballestad

So, for how many of your EV’s have this happened then?
– just curious

Sean

GM has stated in several other cases talking about battery failure that it’s less than 1%. Anecdotal evidence on the forums and communities supports this.

Even in the case of cell failure, almost always it is proactively notified, resulting in no loss of function to the end user. Even when it happens unexpectedly, there has always been at least a few minutes between the warning and complete failure, long enough to get safely off the road.

earl colby pottinger

Another thing, I don’t know why the failure took place but maybe the GM system is shutting down the car before something worse happens.

The shutdown may be the best thing to happen in-fact. Example, what do you want a car that goes dead or a car that damages the batteries?

Until we get all the fact I am glad that I plan on getting a Tesla or a Bottinger, but I will not blame GM for making the safe choice for their cars.

Jeffhre

Is that a problem? I thought it was a normal feature, happened about every 60 days with my ’68 VW bug!

DonC

Better to have them pile into your Tesla which will run into a barrier and kill them all?

Tesla fanboys crack me up.

Pushmi-Pullyu

Why, thank you so much for your utterly off-topic anti-Tesla FUD. That added so much to rational discussion of the issue. Putin also thanks you for being a useful idiot for his Russian troll farms, which are trying to spread divisiveness and tribalism in America and other Western countries.

Mark.ca

I agree. Sitting duck in the middle of the freeway is better…it gives you time to make that last phone call.

Sean

Even in the case of battery failure, even without the update, you still get at least a couple of minutes between being notified of reduced propulsion failure and battery being totally dead.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous
Bill Howland

All cars get improved software over its model Life. My roadster got ‘improved’ software that told you the battery was going dead about 2 years into the 4 years I owned it.

The fact that software will now give me an advanced warning of any battery connection problems is only a PLUS in my book.

Mark D.

If this was a Tesla there’d be viral clickbait articles on it announcing the end of Tesla. Of course if it was a Tesla it would be solved by an OTA update. Why can’t GM do what Tesla has done for years? That said I’m glad they have a fix.

Vexar

Their contract with OnStar can’t handle the cost of the data nor can the network handle the data rate. That’s my guess.

Sean

I find this highly unlikely. The cost of data would be trivial compared to the cost of paying the dealer to do the fix.

I think it’s more likely that OTA updates are limited to infotainment system only, for either security or reliability concerns.

My understanding is that GM is fixing this via an OTA update. That is what is in the letter they sent to Bolt EV owners.

Terawatt

I believe it is. But perhaps they shouldn’t have been quite so limiting. The software that can perform any driving functions, like automatic emergency braking, could be isolated even if software that decides whether to protect the battery is updateable OTA. Of course, a hacker running batteries would be a problem, but a tiny one compared to one causing all Bolts simultaneously taking evil driving action (the worst case scenario). Unlike the driving thing malware tampering with battery protection could only affect vehicles when they actually need that protection, and thus couldn’t cause failure on many cars at once.

Kdawg

What do you mean by “Their contract with OnStar”? GM owns OnStar. It’s their service. GM uses 4GLTE. I don’t think bandwidth would be an issue.

Terawatt

Isn’t OnStar simply a trademark they own? You can’t have a contact with a trademark, it isn’t the same as a company…

Brian

Breaking news: Looks like GM is going to roll out this update OTA! Here is the email they sent me:

Dear General Motors Customer:

As the owner of a 2017 model year Chevrolet Bolt EV, your satisfaction with our product is very important to us. This letter is to inform you of new software updates that will soon be available for your vehicle. Depending on its configuration, your vehicle may require two updates. The software updates will improve phone connectivity, display resolution, rear camera operation, and prevent instances of intermittent screen freezing. The updates will also remove certain video playback functionality and improve the ability to perform software updates to your radio. This service will be provided for you at no charge.

We are rolling out the software updates to vehicle owners in phases beginning April 2018 through August 2018. Updates will be performed remotely, through in-vehicle prompts from the radio display. When a software update package becomes available for your vehicle, you will be notified through those in-vehicle prompts. To ensure successful completion of the update, please review the enclosed information.

That is the same EMAIL I received . nothing about the battery. I have a 2017 Bolt built in AUG 2017, never had one problem with the vehicle.

Bill Howland

I got the letter, but mine stated it had to be done at the dealership. I’m disappointed there is no way to shut off the wifi. But, they did those 2 recalls (bad connection info and radio), and also a 3rd unspecified software upgrade (but my warning color is still orange, not yellow). I did notice the display works trivially better, but when it locks up now I get HISS, which the volume control can change. Hasn’t happened again since I rebooted it. So we’ll see. Was told the upgrade would only take an hour per recall, but they worked on it for 6 hours.

Jeff S
GM is in fact starting OTA updates for Bolt EV owners. Here are the contents of my latest email from GM. No trip to the dealer needed–yay. Dear General Motors Customer: As the owner of a 2017 model year Chevrolet Bolt EV, your satisfaction with our product is very important to us. This letter is to inform you of new software updates that will soon be available for your vehicle. Depending on its configuration, your vehicle may require two updates. The software updates will improve phone connectivity, display resolution, rear camera operation, and prevent instances of intermittent screen freezing. The updates will also remove certain video playback functionality and improve the ability to perform software updates to your radio. This service will be provided for you at no charge. We are rolling out the software updates to vehicle owners in phases beginning April 2018 through August 2018. Updates will be performed remotely, through in-vehicle prompts from the radio display. When a software update package becomes available for your vehicle, you will be notified through those in-vehicle prompts. To ensure successful completion of the update, please review the enclosed information. The download and installation of the software updates will occur in… Read more »
Terawatt

Or it would have been spun as Tesla issuing free upgrades improving battery management. Or they’d just bundle it with some pointless Easter egg and all the attention would be on that.

Tesla gets a lot of press because we click, comment, share, in short generate as revenue. As Douglas Adams so eloquently put it, people are “mostly concerned with the movements of green little pieces of paper” (paraphrasing here, probably not exact).

floydboy

BINGO! We have a winner!

Volt Fan

Hi, John! Seems you were kicked out of “Gm-Volt” and now wander into this site. BTW, I have seen several Toyota Prius being towed. My dentist had one, and had to change its battery. He now owns a Hybrid. So toyota has many bad battery problems. And Ford sold more Fusion Hybrids in March than Toyota Prius (see the scorecard).

Terawatt

Maybe so. But it would be shocking if Ford sold a lot of Toyotas.

Does anyone have knowledge of what causes to low voltage?? Is it a defect in the battery or a defect in the battery connections?? If in the connections then Prohmtect.com has the answer.

Terawatt

I don’t think that’s true. I think most people view recalls as sensible. But it’s expensive for an automaker, and having fewer recalls than the competition is surely desirable.

In the old days there were no recalls. Not because the cars didn’t fail though. Back in 1970 I think a car would have to have an above fifty percent chance of self-immolating before a manufacturer would take action of any kind! Life was dangerous in those days. But funny enough, the morality rate has remained 100% even with all these improvements 🤣

CDAVIS

Looks like @bro1999 is somewhat a hypocrite on the topic of recalls:

@bro1999 said: “Elon doesn’t have time to do proper road testing when he’s trying to save the world! Or some crap like that.”

https://insideevs.com/tesla-recalls-all-pre-april-2016-model-s-for-steering-wheel-issue/

ffbj

Well what do you expect. If there is a whiff of hint of something wrong with Tesla he’s all over it and just the opposite with GM. He’s suddenly apologetic and explanatory.
So if you’re of the opinion his opinion is not to be trusted, I would have to agree. At least in regards to these two companies and their products.

Tech01x

More than just a GM shill, I think bro1999 is a TSLA shorter.

So much for all the same team.

Pushmi-Pullyu

Yup. It would be nice to think that even those in the anti-Tesla crowd are really EV supporters, but if you look at the majority of their posts, it’s clear they have a different motive for commenting here.

Volt Fan

That was not written by Elon Musk.

Tech01x

GM just can’t help itself.

According to GM, “only some vehicles may experience the battery low voltage cell condition… As the GM statement reads, this is not a safety recall. It will not be posted on the NHTSA website as such”

The statement would have been fine ending with “only some vehicles may experience the battery low voltage cell condition,” but of course GM has to make absolutely certain the narrative ends with the typical defensive GM spin, adding the “As the GM statement reads, this is not a safety recall.”

I mean really? It’s like that friend that starts a fight, then apologizes, but then goes “But you were in the wrong too! Right?? Not just me!”. *facepalm*

Seriously… facepalm, bro1999.

CDAVIS

+1 … well played.

I’ll lend you my hand next time you need a facepalm. Fist even. 😀

Let me know when a GM car under control of a factory semi autonomous driving feature kills someone like AP, mmmkay?

Pushmi-Pullyu

Hundreds of people die in crashes in GM cars every day. Those accidents are so common that they’re not news. No need for anything fancy like “Autopilot” to have a fatal accident in a GM car.

Now, how about we actually talk about the subject here, rather than you serial Tesla bashers always dragging the conversation off topic and into the gutter?

Dan

Gross exageration. +/- 110 persons/day (including pedestrians) die from motor vehicle related causes in the US. GM share maybe 20-25%.

Pushmi-Pullyu

Fact check:

Mr. Google says “Nearly 1.3 million people die in road crashes each year, on average 3,287 deaths a day. ” GM has about an 8% global automobile market share. Simple math indicates ~263 deaths per day by people either in GM cars, or pedestrians hit by them.

Some friendly advice: The next time you consider challenging me on my facts, you might want to check yours first.

Are you really trying to compare general accidents to a vehicle that can actively steer its passengers into a median?

Also, Dan was referencing US crashes and you were referencing global. You’re both right.

Knut Erik Ballestad

Dan *assumed* (accidentally or willfully) that Pushmi-Pullyu was referencing US numbers.
– Anyway, when someone finds that others wrongfully make assumptions wrt your statements you should clarify it, just like Pushmi-Pullyu did.

Dan was only right if this was accidentally (which *you* *assume*), if not he was trying to play the thread.

Pushmi didn’t specify in his OP US or Global numbers, so I wouldn’t personally fault Dan too much for assuming US.

Pushmi-Pullyu

@Knut Erik Ballestad

Thank you, sir, for your entirely correct assessment.

Terawatt

Balle,

Pu-pu has a “proven track record” of, whenever anyone says anything he disproves of, accusing them of “Tesla bashing” and “FUD”. He is utterly paranoid and actually believes that investors betting against the Tesla stock spend their time posting negative comments about Tesla on this and similar niche sites in an effort to bring down the stock.

I wish more commenters were as disposed to actually communicating as you. Engaging with the actual issue might lead both parties to view the issue a little more completely, from more than one angle. Instead, in true American instant-gratification fashion, both parties are so busy attacking each others motives that the actual issue isn’t ever discussed. I bet each side couldn’t even state the others opinion in a way the other side could agree to. And that really should be the *starting point* of any discussion – understanding what it is you are discussing…

Tim Miser

Well said TW.

Philip

Isn’t it true that ANY car will steer you into something (actively or otherwise) if you neglect to hold the steering wheel? The facts are that you have a much reduced chance of being involved in an accident, EVEN if you ignore all the warnings AND plain common sense!

I’m not claiming that Tesla is some dangerous machine here. Truthfully I disagree with both generalizations but the assertion that any accident of a brand could be equated to accidents caused by a manufaciter’s autopilot seems a bit egregious to me.

Pushmi-Pullyu

“Are you really trying to compare general accidents to a vehicle that can actively steer its passengers into a median?”

Wow, that’s one of the best examples of a complex question (commonly known as a “Did you stop beating your wife?” question) that I’ve ever seen!

I’m really and truly comparing accident statistics between a car from an auto maker with such an extremely low fatal accident rate that every such accident qualifies as news, to an auto maker for which fatal accidents are such a common everyday occurrence — hundreds each and every day — that no news outlet reports it.

Yes, absolutely.

Now, it might be helpful to discuss the benefits of Tesla AutoSteer, which according to the NHTSA reduces the accident rate in Tesla cars by ~40%, but that would be just as off-topic for this discussion thread as your anti-Tesla FUD.

So if a company makes a gun that sometimes goes off by itself, that’s okay as long as it does that less than the number of human-caused gun accidents of other gun companies?

You just might be insane.

James

Look, to GM apologists, I own a Volt and admire the Bolt even though I abhor the games GM plays with, around and about electrification – including the jabs,insults and all out lies about Tesla and their robust funding and support of anti-Tesla legislation in many states.

So, this gun goes off and its assumed that it was not in any way operator error? Fanboism blinds even people who are supposed to be smart.

James, if you read my comment above, I said that generalizing to blame it on Tesla without facts is something I disagree with.

But it’s also completely crazy to shrug off a potential problem as operator error without thorough analysis.

And then all Pushi does is respond claiming all the posts are anti-Tesla FUD. I guess my post above saying, “I’m not claiming that Tesla is some dangerous machine here. Truthfully I disagree with both generalizations” is anti-Tesla FUD then, LOL. Unreal.

The biases in these posts are much more slanted in favor of Tesla than GM. Yup, there’s certainly GM fanboys too, but they look a lot more “normal” than the people who keep acting like Tesla can do no wrong. And I’m pro-Tesla way back to Martin Eberhard, so me thinking calling out people for asinine comparisons is not “anti-Tesla FUD” or “GM Fanboyism” – it’s calling it like I see it, and my opinion need not be relegated to having some bias just because I disagree with someone as serially pro-Tesla and anti-anything-critical-of-Tesla like Pushi

Bill Howland

Not insane Clarkson, just a SuperDope – er… wait a second, that’s his partner in crime NIX (see NIX its REALLY ME talking and not someone else)..

I’m in favor of the ‘can’t we all just get along?’ sentiment, however PUSHY is Overbearingly PUSHY – if you don’t stand your ground he will just keep steam roller – ing through his insults – especially if he knows nothing about the subject matter. He can only comment here. Tesla Motors Club wouldn’t tolerate him since that forum is for Tesla former or current owners who are trying to discuss real issues without romper room antics.

On the bright side – he provides the comic relief.

Bill Howland

Generalizations of death in automobiles have no place with GM products such as the 1st Gen VOLT. That car is easily one of the safest cars ever made.

Terawatt
You are? Link to the statistics of which you speak, please. Or at the very least state what your source is. I can’t stop myself suspecting that you’re making it up. I think you believe that the statistics, if you had any, would show something like what you describe. But I don’t think you actually have looked at any, or else you’d have had some numbers, rather than vague adjectives, to throw around… I personally believe Tesla to make some of the safest cars out there. The role of AP however doesn’t seem very clear at all. I would really like to see statistics allowing a comparison of Tesla and others. But it needs to be stats for only equally-old cars. Since Tesla is young and volume was very small initially, I reckon there’s not much data. And even then there may be other systematic differences between Tesla and other manufacturers that affect the accident rates. For instance, very few people in the lowest income brackets have a newer Model S or X, and it’s well-known that drug abuse, mental health problems and probably other relevant factors are related to income. Age is another such factor (even independently of income).… Read more »
Terawatt

No, only General Accidents.

Bill Howland

That’s why I call that guy a clown. He’ll say any factory owner who pays 7 cents or more a kwh because of a silly statement in wiki stating the avg factory pays a bit less than 7 is either lying or is being overcharged, when he doesn’t understand the first thing about Demand Hours per month.

At least the state of Kansas is smarter than him,, denying him the right to drive ANY car. I wouldn’t let him legally drive anywhere near me either.

Terawatt

Mr. Google doesn’t say that, or much of anything. Mr. Google is merely good at finding what *anyone* had said. Which means your way of arguing can just as easily be used to “prove” any falsehood as any fact.

Would you be impressed of I told you Mr. Google says the Earth is flat..? Well, then don’t argue that way yourself!

Pushmi-Pullyu

Terawatt, I’m sorry you don’t understand how debate works. If I make a factual statement which you want to refute, then it’s up to you to find some authoritative source to counter that, or construct a logical argument against it.

Just flinging crap at anything you don’t like isn’t an argument. It’s what monkeys do. If you want to convince us you’re more intelligent than a monkey, then try constructing a logical argument, or find an authoritative quote that supports your position, or both.

As it is, all you’re doing is embarrassing yourself — and you’re too obtuse to notice.

BTW — I don’t think it should be necessary to point out to you that if you want to see the source of what I quoted, then all you need to do is Google part or all of the quote for yourself. If you were even a quarter as smart as you seem to think you are, you should have been able to figure that out on your own.

earl colby pottinger

It is not so much GM as those stupid PR people who always think they can fool people with a few pleasant words.

I didn’t interpret that as a defensive mechanism, just explaining why people may not find it on the NHTSA recall site (because people WILL ask why it’s not there).

Bill Howland
Tech01x you are just one of several here who confuse trivial improvements with real safety problems. And you guys CONSTANTLY bring up the ignition switch settlements which are only an issue because GM decided to play NICE GUY and own up to the problem. No other American Manufacturer would have paid out a cent of claims. FCA’s Marchione or anyone at Ford would have said if there are more than the 2 company supplied keys on the company supplied ring, the company has no control over the ridiculous torque requirements and/or wear on the ignition cylinder by somebody having a large key ring with 15 keys on it unrelated to the car.. The battery notification is almost exactly the same thing as the Tesla ‘upgrade’ done on my roadster to give better performance out of the guess-o-meter display when getting near dead. Neither company HAD to perform this service. “x’s and s’s” have ongoing problems with their worm actuators that a German in his basement has perfected for 50 Euros. By comparison GM is taking a minor issue affecting few people and giving them (or those that want it) MORE MAINTENANCE INFORMATION. No way is there any criticism of GM… Read more »
Larry S

As a bolt owner would you see this as effecting range (the update)? If so I’m sure it’s not a large difference, probably less than 10% maybe even under 5%

I have a 2017 Bolt built in AUG 2017 What do you use to read you battery condition I would love to do that also. Please let us know how to do that. Thank you!

Mark.ca

I got a flashback to the eGolf early issues when very few cars got their power cut of leaving drivers in the middle of roads or even worse in the middle of freeways. Of course it took them some time to recall it as i see GM sat on it a few months too. Scary indeed. They need to address this fast and quietly.

Aaron

That was the Ford Focus EV. Search for “stop safely now”.

Bryant

The early E-Golfs did have a similar problem, and a recall was issued for updated BMS software. Ironically, GM isn’t calling this one a recall.

https://electrek.co/2016/03/29/vw-recall-e-golfs-battery-software/

pjwood1

My TDI had the flashing ‘PRNDS’ message, in the dash, followed by powerlessly pulling over.

NHTSA reporting helped lead to that VW recall.

Vexar

As opposed to the one involving pollution. I owned a VW once. So glad I could sell that problem child to someone else on a trade-in.

Knut Erik Ballestad

I’ve also experienced something close to this on cold days (colder than -10 Celcius) in my Leaf
– The battery meter goes from 17% to empty in about the same time it usually goes from 17% to 15% in warmer weather

Sean

No active thermal management in the leaf is a critical shortfall. Even the 2018 model didn’t add it, shockingly.

Henry Rose

Hmmm. Last year, GM said this problem could only affect “v.1” of the battery. You can determine which battery you have by checking bar codes, manuf. date, etc. Now, it seems all 2017 Bolts could be affected.

I also recall that the power loss could only occur if your battery was in a relatively low state of charge – like 30% or lower. I wonder if that still applies.

Nice that we’ll get some warning if we have to pull off the highway, but then what? Wait to be towed to a GM dealership near you? And then wait for a battery replacement? I’ve had a great Bolt ownership experience thus far but I’m more than curious to see how this unfolds.

ffbj

Bottom line is: Don’t Trust GM.

morrisg

Remember: LG Chem built the cells, battery and drive electronics under contract to GM.

When the Bolt gets good press, it is the “LG Bolt”. When it gets bad press, it is the “GM Bolt”. Lol

ffbj

Yes, and as you continually point out, GM designed the power train and battery, even though they did not build it.
I don’t blame LG for it, The Bolt, looking the way it does, nor the poor seats, in fact LG components are what give the car a good reason to buy it. I don’t think of it as a show stopper, maybe a car stopper, but I don’t believe GM either, in that it’s so rare as to be merely a statistical anomaly.

Sean

You better not trust ANY carmaker then, as every single car ever produced has had problems.

Terawatt

True. There’s little reason to turn to big adjectives for a recall, especially one that’s related to a fairly minor safety risk. Tesla – and many other manufacturers – have had recalls related to seat belts and brakes (the corroding bolt, the very latest) – and it seems to me that this is a very good sign, not a bad one. Obviously car makers want to make perfect products, but it turns out doing so is pretty difficult! Recalls, to my mind, show that the regulators threats to hold manufacturers responsible in the event of them failing to act when they learn about security problems is working.

ffbj

I would run over to GM express my concerns and ask to get it in writing that they checked the car out and it’s fine.
Get as much documentation before something happens that you, as the owner, took care of the vehicle.
GM will try to blame your poor, lazy, inexperienced, inattentive, driving habits, relative to evs, for problems
that develop with the car.
GM is famous for fighting these sorts of problems, tooth & nail. Just as any car company, they have teams of lawyers, if something goes wrong they will try to wriggle out of it. Except with them it’s more like a calling. They didn’t forget how to obfuscate, lay blame, pass the buck, etc.. Just because they went bankrupt.
I would only buy the Bolt from GM, to spite them, since they lose money on it, Though it’s still a decent car.
Make copies of everything related to the vehicle.
What’s good for GM is good for the U.S.A
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kj65AcbekIE

Then, don’t sweat it, because you’ll probably continue to enjoy a fine vehicle that fulfills its mission.

Sean

GM clarified that there has been no change to the battery, there’s no V1 and V2. Only changed the coolant hose outlet to make repairs less error prone.

Franko M

“.. asking 2017 Bolt EV customers to contact their dealer to schedule service for a software update.”
So old school, the need to schedule a service at a dealer for software upgrade.

Bunny

At least GM has service in all fifty states.
Didn’t Tesla just recall over 1/2 of everything they has ever built for bad fasteners on the steering?
Tesla have service in state all 50 states ?
Waiting for Tesla service van show up is like waiting for the cable guy…… doesn’t get more old school than that! LOL

Give both companies trying to do their
customers right credit for trying.

Mark.ca

So you like going to the dealer for service…i guess it’s the coffee they serve, no?

ffbj

Only around 1/3 of dealerships service it, and then, who knows, do they really know their stuff.
Most of them won’t be able to do much for you if it’s a major problem related to the battery except diagnose the problem or just wait for a failure.
They won’t be able to fix it.
Anecdotal evidence, to the contrary, has shown Tesla to be very responsive to problems.
Highest satisfaction rate according to CR.
I don’t think all the complaints are just people whining either. Tesla is not perfect, just much better than all the other car companies in this regard.

Vexar

Uh… it is some external part in the linkages that corrodes a bit too much in climates where road salt involves magnesium salts. I’m on the recall list for that and the Takata air bag thing.
Tesla suffers at the hands of their suppliers far too often.

Taylor S. Marks

You have to take your car to a dealer for a software update.

That’s an exact reason I’ll never buy a car from a dealer again.

fotomoto

Because your car will never need service again either?

Anon

Stealer’s service for profit…

fotomoto

What car maker’s service center doesn’t need to operate on profit?

ffbj

It’s true that are designed to make profit, but if the car is under warranty they have to fix what’s wrong and don’t make money on that.
You have to consider then that if they actually are making a profit then they are ripping off other customers to make up the difference.

Is that clear? So they cheat you on regular service, diagnostics, parts, and anything out of warranty,
it’s murder.
I have not gone to service center run by a carmaker except to get a replacement key. $6 bucks, in 40 years.

fotomoto

Agreed it’s buyer beware just like any other transaction.

Manufacturers pay a set flat rate to dealers for warranty work so, no, a dealer doesn’t “need” to make up for lost revenue. They simply want to generate income on anyone who comes in for service; it’s called up-selling.

Why would Tesla (or any other maker) provide free labor and parts after the warranty expires? Currently consumers have the choice to go to a dealer or numerous independent third parties for service after the sale or warranty expires.

Years from now what options will the second or third owner of a Model X have for falcon-wing door repair?

Loboc

“if the car is under warranty they have to fix what’s wrong and don’t make money on that.”

This is incorrect. GM reimburses their dealers for warranty repairs. Heck, I’ve seen them reimburse third-party repair shops as well.

Pushmi-Pullyu

“It’s true that are designed to make profit, but if the car is under warranty they have to fix what’s wrong and don’t make money on that.”

Reality check: Auto dealers make most of their profits by servicing cars, not selling them. The only question is whether the dealer is gonna charge the auto maker or the customer.

Or maybe, if it’s a dishonest dealer, he will double bill, charging both:

An automotive OEM observed that several automotive dealers were charging both the customer and the manufacturer for the same repair. This happened when mileage had reached the limit after which warranty expires. These dealers rightly charged the customer, but also sent a warranty service claim to the manufacturer with a somewhat lower mileage, making the repair look like a warranty repair.

http://www.warrantyweek.com/archive/ww20160908.html

fotomoto

“Reality check: Auto dealers make most of their profits by servicing cars, not selling them.”

How will Tesla be different?

Pushmi-Pullyu

Tesla is running its service shops with the intent of being revenue-neutral. Last report I saw, they were making about a 1-2% profit.

Tesla isn’t just “planning to” do things differently, they already are!

Go Tesla!

Vexar

Just Tesla. Elon has said that repeatedly. Are they cheaper for the same service elsewhere? Hard to say.

Pushmi-Pullyu

“What car maker’s service center doesn’t need to operate on profit?”

Since you asked*: Tesla’s service centers don’t operate on profit. They are intended to be profit-neutral. Last report I saw, they did on average make a 2% profit, so Tesla needed to fine-tune the fees just a bit.

*And not because I want to add to the already ridiculous amount of off-topic discussion of Tesla when we are ostensibly talking about the Chevy Bolt EV!

Terawatt
Well, it’s “for profit” all the way down! You might as well argue you’ll never buy food in a store again, because all they do is buy goods and sell them on, which is “stealing” since they do so at a profit…. I don’t think there’s any real problem with having dealerships per se. The problem is rather the very special American model where dealerships have these extra protections that other kinds of retailers do not. Tesla can sell its cars as they wish in Europe, and so can the others. Perhaps dealerships that have no special protection from the manufacturer possibly deciding to sell directly if the dealers do a terrible job is part of the reason why dealerships aren’t hated as much in Europe..? Personally I don’t understand why a car maker should be assumed to be better at running the shops than dealerships not owned by the manufacturer. The “fact” that there’s another step in the chain is actually wrong – if there’s going to be any physical shops at least. This costs money, and whoever runs them will require a profit on that investment. The notion that a manufacturer, of any kind of goods, will do… Read more »
theflew

You’re making a mountain out of a mole hill. I took my Bolt in for it’s free tire rotation and they told me about the recall and software update. There was no dealer drama.

Anon

That’s how you sweep dangerous defects under the proverbial rug. GM has certainly had a lot of experience covering up defects in it’s history.

Bill Howland

Again, to repeat several times, you guys are clueless when calling non-safety issues ‘dangerous defects’. GM or their dealership network is mostly blameless of the silly claims made here.

The pre-bankruptcy GM was truly a horrible company as far as electrification of transportation is concerned. The fact that 100 years ago a greater percentage of public transportation was totally electric compared to today is almost totally due to the old GM’s setting up front companies to dismantle the electrical networks (street cars, inter-urban electric trans) so as to sell more smelly buses.

Pushmi-Pullyu

@theflew:

Thank you for that reality check!

It’s too bad that the Usual Suspects here are trying to make this yet another zero-sum-game “Tesla vs. GM” fight. Can’t we all remember we are EV advocates, and thus really on the same side? (Well, most of us anyway… trolls and Useful Idiots for Russian troll farms excluded.)

But if we have to look at it in those terms, let us Tesla fans not forget that Tesla cars have occasionally had battery pack failures. Edmunds.com’s long-term test drive Tesla Model S died on the road, had to be towed, and had to have the battery pack replaced. That problem had a low occurrence rate, but it did happen.

Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Neither GM fans nor Tesla fans are in a position to throw stones on this issue. (But we can all throw stones at Nissan! 😉 )

TwoVolts

“Can’t we all remember we are EV advocates”
AMEN! Good advice!

Knut Erik Ballestad

– Hey! –

I love my Nissan Leaf, even though it occacionally behaves something like this Bolt.

If less than -10C outside and starting with a cold battery, the battery drops from 17% to empty in about the same time as it usually uses to drop 2%.

Seems like the BMS doesn’t realise that a substantial amount of power is lost in really cold weather – like Tesla for example shows graphically under similar circumstances.

earl colby pottinger

I really think these people who seem to want to start a fight may be shorters of the stocks.

Their goal is not to promote any EVs, their goal is to try and drive down the price of a stock to make money. That is their motive MONEY not a better future for all – selfish gits.

Terawatt

Maybe some of us are EV advocates, but even more committed to truth? I for one don’t think the goal is always only to push EVs. In any case, what does it have to do with the Tesla vs GM fanbois thing? Nevermind Russia??

With most people hardly aware that EVs exist, I kinda doubt the Tesla vs GM “debate” ranks highly in Kremlin meeting agendas.

Pushmi-Pullyu

“Maybe some of us are EV advocates, but even more committed to truth?”

You’re too immature to know what “truth” means, Terawatt. You think it means “agreeing with me”. You have demonstrated that just in the many posts you’ve made in this thread.

“In any case, what does it have to do with the Tesla vs GM fanbois thing?”

Do you seriously not see just how much of this discussion has been taken over by completely off-topic Tesla bashing FUD, and by Tesla fans trying to debunk all that.

If every post not directly concerned with the topic of the article was removed*, this thread would be about 2/3 shorter than it is!

*including this one

Terawatt

English is so weird, one has to take a car to a garage to have the tires rotated! In my language the tires rotate whenever I drive. 😂

Bill Howlandw

It is assumed they are rotated in the vertical plane. But the EURO use of Recouperation as opposed to the 100 year old term of ‘Dynamic Braking’ (my favorite since it is long-lasting, and technically the more accurate) does cause us trouble.

Item: I went to a dealership trying to test drive a HONDA CLARITY PHEV. The sales girl was so insistent on showing me the concept of ‘REGENERATION’ that she INSISTED on constantly starting the gasoline engine (the button was in the center console), so I couldn’t avoid her being a ‘back seat driver’ – to which I stated for Safety’s Sake only ONE PERSON AT A TIME should attempt to drive the car.

She wanted to always start the gasoline engine so that it could REGENERATE the battery, as in generate the battery again.

Literally, I understood what she was trying to do (we call such people Dumb Broads), but I politely mentioned that, when purchasing and test driving an ELECTRIC CAR, occasionally I would like to see how the vehicle functions on ELECTRIC power only.

Jeff S

This is incorrect. GM is already scheduling OTA updates to Bolt owners. The full email is posted elsewhere in this comment thread.

G2

This is not good news for anyone in the EV world. Hope it gets sorted out quickly.

pjwood1

Fighting having a low-opinion of the world. This sounds like inadequate battery management system (BMS), keeping the pack balanced, and/or uploading to OnStar. GM could just as well be treating a communication issue, from most/all Bolts, rather than a defect from an extreme few?

Bill Howland

Thanks GM for the ‘Heads UP’ on my 2017 BOLT ev. Its due for its free tire rotate from the dealer so this is a great time for them to install the diagnostic software.

Bill Howland

Not true James – you can’t make an accurate ‘blanket’ statement.

The GEN 1 VOLT takes several days to catch fire – and then only if MANDATORY discharge procedures are willfully ignored. And they don’t catch fire in collisions.

mxs

Yep, stay away kids … hilarious.

Aaron

James, go back to hosting Fox News. They appreciate your views there.

All-Purpose Guru

Don’t feed the trolls, folks.

abc123

No, the misinformation that he’s posted has to be corrected because the uninformed readers will just take his misinformation as fact.

So, if nobody corrected him, people will think that EV’s will explode like the Samsung battery fiasco. When in fact, the battery chemistry between the two are different, the charging methods are different, the battery management systems are different.

morrisg

Well, I’m sorry to hear this. I know of several Bolt owners that have been very happy with their cars. But this software update is just to detect a condition of a bad cell in cars that are less than two years old. My real concern is what is happening to the LG Chem cells? Why are some going bad so soon in their lifetime??? Since LG Chem is supplying cells to GM, Hyundai, Kia and Nissan’s upcoming 60kw-hr Leaf, I would hope they have some answers soon.

Eric Crowder

Some LG cells are going bad because of a manufacturing defect. it’s not a design problem. The number of LG cells that had the manufacturing defect is a very small percentage. Unfortunately it takes one cell out of 200 something in the battery to cause the problem.

The cells in my 2011 Volt are also made by LG, of course a different chemistry and design. But my Volt’s battery is working perfectly after 120,000 miles so I have confidence in LG’s ability to design and manufacture a reliable product.

Sounds like just a software issue. Not a real problem.

Tech01x

Of course it is a real problem. They are updating the software in all ’17 Bolts to better figure out which ones have the very real problem. If it wasn’t a real problem, they wouldn’t be taking this step.

Nix

Yes, it is real, and it is a problem, and they are fixing it. Absolutely correct.

But there are “real problems”, and then there are “REAL problems”, and then there are “REAL PROBLEMS!!!”, if you get my drift.

Pushmi-Pullyu

“Sounds like just a software issue. Not a real problem.”

You’d best read the article again, more carefully this time. It’s a real hardware problem. The only real question is just how frequent the failure is.

Sean

It’s a proactive measure to catch the real problem sooner. That’s why it’s not a safety recall.

ffbj

Yes, it’s an ex post facto proactive measure. Brilliant!

Logan

https://www.consumerreports.org/2017-chevrolet-bolt/chevrolet-bolt-battery-might-run-out-suddenly-automaker-warns-some-owners/

What happens is the car mis-reports the remaining range and the battery cut’s out on you unexpectedly. It only happens when the vehicle is at a low state of charge. So you may think you have 20 miles remaining when one of the cells is actually very low and the car shuts down.

My wife drives our early build January 2017 Bolt and I think the lowest we’ve ever ran it down over the last 22,000 miles was to 40 miles of predicted range. It definitely doesn’t make me feel good to know that it could be a ticking time bomb so I’ll be getting it into the dealer right away.

Pushmi-Pullyu

That seems more than a bit over-the-top. A “ticking time bomb”? Any car may have a mechanical or electrical failure, and wind up “dead” on the side of the road. That happens to gasmobiles and EVs alike, occasionally. I don’t know anyone who thinks his car is a “time bomb” because it might die on the road.

If you really see it that way, then best stay indoors and never venture out! 😉

Sean

The car doesn’t typically shut down immediately. The warning typically occurs higher, and you get a minute or two before complete shutdown, enough to at least get your car to the side of the road.

Eric Ryder

So much for Over The Air software updates…

Warren

OTA updates means OTA hacks too. i’d rather go to the dealer.

Bunny

+1

Anon

Because GM does not hire White Hats to test their software for such things, nor take proactive measures to engineer software with a high degree of inherent security?

Pushmi-Pullyu

Yup, Tesla is very pro-active about defending against hacking. Has there ever been a case of a “black hat” hacker getting access to a Tesla car? I don’t know of one.

Of course, no matter how good the defense is, it can’t be made 100% immune to any possible hacking. But certainly Tesla is far better about establishing and maintaining computer security than other auto makers!

If you’re worried about the computer security on a Tesla car, then you’re definitely wasting time worrying about the wrong thing!

wavelet

These were white hats, but black hats could have done it too:
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/sep/20/tesla-model-s-chinese-hack-remote-control-brakes

https://www.wired.com/2015/07/hackers-remotely-kill-jeep-highway/

The risk isn’t limited to Tesla — most modern cars are internet-connected — but it’s certainly greater for cars which do have regular OTA updates. In fact, GM and other carmakers have had the ability to do OTA or brick their cars remotely (if the owner reports it stolen), but they don’t use it yet because they’re worried about the risks.

Pushmi-Pullyu

Yes, Tesla has openly and repeatedly asked “white hat” hackers to see if they can hack into a Tesla car. That’s part of how Tesla is being proactive on that issue.

Seems very strange to me that you’d characterize that in a negative way, when it’s a very positive thing for Tesla’s security!

And no, “black hat” hackers can’t hack into a Tesla car the same way, because Tesla updated their software to plug the “holes” the white hat hackers found.

ffbj

Musk’s paranoia about rogue AI is reflected in the breath, depth, and scope, of their hacking prevention program.
As you suggest it’s a major strength to argue otherwise is incorrect.

MarkT

In that case kill your internet connection.

The Bolt supports OTA hardware, yet GM won’t enable it. This would be a great example for pushing out this update overnight, while you’re asleep before you hit the road the next day and potentially lose power while driving. It’s No different than a PC update and reboot. With the proper security this is the best option.

EVShopper

I have had too many software updates corrupt or break my computers or mobile devices. Would hate to wake up to a dead car that needs a complete system restart and reload. Rather take it to a professional that is trained and paid to load the software and has the diagnostic tools to make sure it is working properly.

I would want there to be a way to opt out of Tesla OTA, and be able to take it in to a service center.

JJG

You can already do that. You get notified of an update on the screen and on the Tesla App. From there you can start the OTA update or wait until later. You are free to take it to a service center and have them do it for you.

Sean

Why does this mean not having?

OTA is polled, encrypted and verified by the car. There’s no reason that this should increase hackability.

Tony Marco

Black mark on the Chevy Bolt battery progress, especially after years of R&D on LG Chem batteries!

Hopefully none of these affected cars will suddenly stop on ANY high speed roadways !!! The results could be …..

Another reason why I like my BMW i3 Rex – BACKUP!

David Gould

>Hopefully none of these affected cars will suddenly stop on ANY high speed roadways !!! The results could be …..
>Another reason why I like my BMW i3 Rex – BACKUP!

The i3 Rex is a serial hybrid. That is, the gas engine does not drive the wheels, it only charges the battery. So a battery fault condition will stop the car, the same as the Bolt.

Jason

Ha, ha, don’t be smug! Does the i3 have a computer? Does the computer decide when to change over to REX? Do computers get glitches? Every single modern vehicle has a computer, so at some point something can go wrong, even if nothing had ever gone wrong in the past.
The main thing is how critical is it and how responsive was your manufacturer to fix it? Oh, and how serious did you rate it and how quickly did you go to get it fixed?

Rich

Sorry to hear about this issue. The last thing we need is more shade thrown at electric vehicles. Hopefully, GM can address the problem quickly, not only in a patch for existing, but in production moving forward.

I put this in the same category as Tesla’s drawing down the battery significantly when parked or being able to brick a Tesla battery too easily. Annoying but not in the same category of having a battery (looking at you Nissan) which significantly degrades in a relatively short period.

We’ll see issues with the power electronics. This isn’t the first and won’t be the last.

Pushmi-Pullyu

What is your motive for continuing to post 100% untrue Tesla bashing FUD, even in a discussion about a Bolt EV problem? Vladimir Putin thanks you for supporting his Russian troll farms.

I don’t think anyone has ever had a Tesla Model S or X “bricked”. So far as I know, it was a problem only with early Roadsters, and was fixed with a software update.

See: “Model S Battery almost impossible to ‘brick’ ”

https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/threads/model-s-battery-almost-impossible-to-brick.7660/

Mulon Esk

Just buy a Tesla!

EVlong Frankenmusk

Battery BAD,
FIRE GOOD!
GM Say, Must Crush all EVs!

Jeff Nisewanger
A little further clarification on this issue. 1. Many of the cars with a bad battery cell are from early production. Production started in late October, 2016. There continue to be a few newer cars with cells that go bad. 2. GM says it has gotten a lot better about proactively noticing when an individual car’s battery has a cell that is in the process of going bad. They are using remote diagnostics using the OnStar computer that is built into every Bolt EV to actively monitor the batteries in all Bolt EVs. 3. GM says in the large majority of cases they now notify owners of individual Bolt EVs that have bad cells before the car shows outward signs of failure such as going into reduced propulsion power while driving. 4. The software update to the car is not related to detecting the bad cells but is instead a change which causes the car to alert the driver sooner and give them more time to continue driving before the car is forced to reduce and ultimately disable driving. To really get all of the details, please read the original article on the new software update (“GM issues software update… Read more »
Pushmi-Pullyu

The Bolt EV powertrain is, I think, the first major system mass produced by LG Electronics’ new automotive division. Frankly, if this is the worst problem we’re seeing from a recent startup, then they are doing better than I expected.

I think GM deserves some congratulation for their overall success in quality control in overseeing LG Electronics’ production of the Bolt EV’s powertrain. This one issue should not cause us to overlook the overall success.

Sean

Absolutely agreed!

Pushmi-Pullyu

Hmmm, well, this could be very bad if a significant percentage of Bolt EVs are affected.

Or, it could be nothing more than just another bit of fodder for EV bashers, if it’s less than 1%, as claimed by MadBro in the first post in this discussion. However, given his strong pro-Bolt EV bias, it seems best to treat that claim with some skepticism.

* * * * *

john1701a said:

“Hopefully there will be civil discourse on the matter.”

I hope so too! No reason (see what I did there?) to help out Putin and the Russian troll farms trying to create or inflame divisiveness, tribalism, and hatred on American social media. Everybody here is an EV supporter, right? Well, almost everyone, at least.

And, John1701a, I also hope you will extend the same courtesy in the future, when you comment on Tesla and its cars.

I wonder what you think you read. I certainly haven’t been saying anything against Tesla. Perhaps you’ve mixed me up with someone else.

TwoVolts

John1701a,
If you don’t want to be accused of working for Putin, just make sure you are civil when you comment on Tesla and its cars. Capiche?

That’s not me. Apparently someone’s using my ID.

What post are you referring to?

TwoVolts

Not referring to anything you have posted.
Was an attempt at humor that fell flat.

earl colby pottinger

No, instead since the discussion is about FM Bolt there is not need to be talking about Tesla cars.

The discussion is has GM handled it right?

And I would say yes.

earl colby pottinger

That was GM not FM.

Pushmi-Pullyu

“Perhaps you’ve mixed me up with someone else.”

That may be a “fair cop”. Perhaps indeed I mixed you up with someone else who posted some time back, using “1701” as part of his screen name.

If so, then I apologize.

EVShopper

They had this same problem on the Spark EV battery and similar recall. It was totally a non-issue to get it the software updated at the dealer.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

In other words, GM learned nothing from that experience.

Bill Howland

This issue is being made into a mountain when it is really just a molehill.
As I read it, apparently in less than 1% of BOLT ev’s out there, there is a marginal connection problem between some of the cells.

The novel software addition is merely to clearly advise to the driver that there is a reliability problem that needs to be rectified prior to any real damage or inconvenience being done.

What could be wrong with any of this? I consider GM is doing me a big favor here. I have not gotten this degree of consideration by other car companies, although individual employees have given me plenty of unexpected assistance (since I think they felt sorry for my predicament).

Therefore any criticism of GM here seems to me a case of sour grapes, or just plain mean-spiritedness.

TheWay

I think the biggest issue are 2 things:
1) It isn’t OTA, they have OnStar, there is no excuse why it isn’t OTA.

2) They know the issue is there but their software can’t find out which batteries are effected until after symptoms begin to show?

3) If you are outside the 100k mile warranty and this issue happens, will they still take care of it?

Now I don’t think it’s an issue in the long term, especially if 2018+ models will be fine. But GM has a weird relationship with the EV community ever since the EV1 and how they treated the Volt. So people can’t help but be skeptical of them.

You need to look up state laws and services by franchised dealerships WRT why OTA updates aren’t so easy to push out. It’s much more than just “GM doesn’t want to”, that’s for sure.

Sean

Can you provide any evidence to back that up? Is a common thing to say but we can’t find any actual evidence to back this up. Plus, GM is doing other updates OTA, as well as other manufacturers. The right to repair laws also state that anyone qualified can do a repair, and it’s hard to say that the car itself isn’t qualified.

I think it’s more likely that the OTA system isn’t tested and verified or perhaps even capable of handling any updates other than infotainment system updates. For security reasons there may be a firewall between the infotainment system and other car modules.

ffbj

That coincides with my thought too. Perhaps for legal ramifications, considerations.
I don’t think it’s ready yet, whatever the reason(s).

This update will be OTA it sounds like, for the overall fleet anyway. A friend of mine has a Bolt, received the letter on this, and it specifically stated it would be pushed via an OTA update.

Bill Howland

TheWay I’m not trying to make a Brief for GM, nor do I own any of their stock – but GM has done nothing to make people ‘skeptical’ of them safety wise.

The Bolt ev does not have over-the-air updates. Neither did my Tesla Roadster. I knew this fact prior to purchase of the cars so I could live with it. My Home doesn’t have exactly every last amenity in it either yet I purchased it too,

GM has always excelled in battery longevity and Safety of their EV’s especially the first generation VOLT – the safest car ever made.

Since you think GM is so horrible, please mention FIVE other car makers with a superior track record.

ffbj

Like Al Capone saying: name 5 other gangsters that did not murder people in cold blood, and then try to cover it up or blame it on someone else. Your logic escapes me.
I rest my case, you Honor.

Bill Howland

“Your Logic escapes me” – I’m glad.

Eric Crowder

Question, what do you mean by “how they treated the Volt?” I’m just curious as a 2011 Volt owner if my experience was different than most other people.

-Eric

Bill Howland

He means lack of advertising and lack of dealer enthusiasm for the GEN 1 VOLT. A car for a niche market will not get as much advertising as their most popular, profitable models.

Bill Howlandw

The “Over the Air” points are silly. Apparently some will get them – I will not since I let my Onstar subscription expire. My Roadster did not begin to have “OTA” updates. No complaint from the magpies about that.

BOLT EV owners are apparently being treated much better than the typical ICE Colorado 5 cyl owners whose car won’t start and the dealers can’t get them going either. Even after spending plenty of the owner’s cash to get them going.

Nix

Sounds like a relative non-issue that they are taking care of. *shrug*

Sean

Agreed. They are modifying the existing detection algorithm to give even more notice. It’s a good thing.

I thought that the Bolt would be able to receive OTA updates? I haven’t heard anything about this since the very early days of Bolt. Pain in the ass if all this needs is an update to software but you have to go to the dreaded dealer just for that.

Sean

OTA updates may be limited to infotainment system only

Sean

“but we are asking all 2017 vehicles to participate in the program”

GM has a major problem then, as dealerships are clueless and telling some 2017 owners that the update doesn’t apply to them.

ekutter

Our local dealer in Bend Oregon won’t carry or service the Bolt, so I’d have to take a 3 hour drive to get this update. How can you be a Chevy dealer when you aren’t required to support all Chevy vehicles? This definitely shows a lack of commitment to electric vehicles by GM.

Bill Howland

ekutter if you are truly in so remote a location that it takes a 3 hour drive to get the car serviced – it will indeed impact your decision of whether you would like to purchase a BOLT ev… I had a similiar decision to make back in 2011 when I purchased a Tesla Roadster, and the nearest US service center was 350 miles away. Seeing as the ‘Ranger’ service for the Roadster at the time was decent, I decided to do it.

Sometimes OTHER GM dealers are qualified for service – for instance my neighbor 2 doors down had a snaky diagnostic problem with his Pontiac G6, and it was only the Local Cadillac Dealership (who locally prides itself on fixing anything), who actually fixed the car to his complete satisfaction.

Incidentally, although the nearest Cadillac dealership to me that will sell the CT6 PHEV is 380 miles away, my local dealership was willing to SELL a used CT6 PHEV to me, and said they were fully certified to SERVICE it, even though they are not selling Brand New Models.

Yes, that does sound odd. There are over 10 Chevy dealers in my metro area and all are Volt/Bolt certified.

Dave86

You’re in Bend, Oregon? Can’t you go to a Chevy dealer in Salem? I thought Capitol Chevy in Salem sold Spark EVs a few years ago. Can’t they help you? Salem should be much less than 3 hours from Bend…

Portland is about 3 hours from Bend.

SansIce

So Much for the “Tesla KIller”. I have never been a GM guy. I have only owned one – a 73 350 Chevy PU. Truth be told, I currently own a Focus Electric, a Model S 60D, and a Ford F250 PU.
Sorry but I always had to laugh when the endless articles came out how the Bolt was going to take down Tesla. Chevy products although seemingly improving with the Volt and Malibu and such, continue to have a cheap, unreliable feel. This is a visceral feeling that I have always had and continue to have. I have preferred Ford since I used to ride in my Dad’s 250 PU.- Yes I am unabashedly biased. That being said, with this battery problem, the cartoonish feel of the exterior and the cheap interior and inadequate seats, the thought that somehow the Chevy Bolt would some how take down Tesla or can any way be compared to the stylish, desirable, highly performing Model 3, is laughable.

Despite all your bashing of the Bolt, it remains the only <$40k, 200+ mile BEV available for sale in every state.
GM is playing the long game with their EVs. By 2021, Tesla will have much more to worry about than the Bolt.

SansIce

What is the “long game”? I don’t mean to bash – I am just calling it as I see it. I sat in the Bolt and I considered it thoughtfully. If I am purchasing a car based on price and availability -I feel a lot more quality in my Focus which only get 74 miles but feels and drives like a well handling car with a high quality interior. It was below or around 20K after the 7500 Fed credit. For my use I would prefer the newer version with the 125 mile range than the 238 mile Bolt.
It looks and feels like a more substantial car than the Bolt for a lot less money.

Nix

That’s funny, because you paid well over 40K for your Bolt, without even counting the shipping.

It is funny how you have to keep redefining “victory” down with more and more qualifiers every month so you can feel good paying roughly the same for your Bolt as buying a black TM3 with stock wheels and a long range battery with the not-yet-available standard interior. And yet you got 240 miles range instead of 300 miles range plus supercharging for your money.

Whatever makes you feel better. The Bolt is a good transitional car, but it will be funny to watch you continually qualify down with more and more qualifiers.

Narg

Nix, sounds funny that it’s you making excuses about the TM3.

Kdawg

” endless articles came out how the Bolt was going to take down Tesla”
————
I don’t recall this narrative?

SansIce
Narg

Sounds like GM is on top of it. This is not the GM of the past, which they gained quite a negative view from. Good to see them change so positively.

Dartanian

Never mind the battery issues, if GM was on top of it the Bolt wouldn’t have those atrocious front seats. They are too narrow and I would never choose one until they fix such a glaring oversight on their part.

Bill Howland

Again, the car is a Chevy, not a Cadillac. Its admittedly a cheap car looking odd to most Occidental eyes with its Oriental Styling.

Interior materials are cheap but serviceable, in the Chevy tradition.

Depends on what you want…… I bought the car for Reliability, Serviceability, efficiency, and the very best range available at the time at anything near the price.

If you saw my Green and Beige Roadster, you would say it is a beautiful car, even though it was not the most reliable, nor most efficient, and you had to be reasonably physically fit to get in and out of the car since you sat so low.

But, after tax credits, my Bolt Ev is less than 1/3 rd the cost of the Roadster. Its an incredible value – so it is somewhat disconcerting that people are so negative towards it.

Those same people would have hated the Roadster, unless blinded by the Tesla Logo on the car.

Bunklung

My 2018 with only 500 miles was brought in for service since one of my TPMS failed. The service department said I had a recall that went into effect on May 3rd and said they would do the update. I thought this only effected 2017 model years? Now I have questions about if I have a bad string of batteries in my car. The recall number is different: N172127152. I did the update on Friday, the 4th.

Kirsten

i’m not panicking about this update or the state of the battery, i’m sure its a small percentage and they have to cover their bases, but my question is, for those who are affected, has GM said anything about Automatically covering those batteries affected even if it is outside the warranty b/c they acknowledge its faulty?

vdiv

I worry about what effect this will have on GM and dealerships with regard to not only the Bolt EV, but all plugins. The extra cost and hassle poses a risk on their willingness to continue building and promoting plugins and may slow them down. And now they have an extra burden, as small as it may be, to convince current and future owners that the cars are reliable.

ModernMarvelFan

Dealership will love it since GM pays for the bills on those SW updates…

bro1999

I’m glad I didn’t get the initial update.
Chevy dealers must be loving the Bolt right now. Maybe not so much down the road as OTA updates become more prevalent. Sorta confused why these updates can’t be pushed OTA though. This battery voltage recall ain’t gonna be cheap for GM. I’m thinking franchise laws make it impossible for GM to push safety-related updates OTA…or something like that.

BoltUp

Thought that GM were able to do over the air updates?

ffbj

So the people that already got the original update for this problem have to drive down to their nearby GM service center once again, to get another update. Sounds like a nice free cup of coffee or six down at the lovely nearby GM service center.
So is this their idea of OTA updates? Seems it should be something else more accurate like IHOTA, in house over the air updates.
So they expanded the recall to include all Bolt battery packs, and refined the software so it will tell sooner, or more accurately, that your battery is about to fail.
Lovely.
GM: We’re cooperating here, We’re doing all we can, working with you on this here.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4Je2WxsqWA

bro1999

Not optimal indeed. But better than old GM, which would have probably ignored the problem until someone died due to the flaw and filed a lawsuit against them.

ffbj

Well, at least it looks like it’s not likely to happen. Low incidence rate.
For a silver lining GM service centers will get a chance to look over some Bolts, so as to familiarize themselves with the vehicle.

Terawatt

LG makes the pack, right? Not just the cells? This sounds like a matter of badly balanced packs, with cell capacity varying a lot…

I’ve never understood how Tesla avoids this issue (if indeed they do). With thousands of tiny cells the problem, it seems, would be much worse than with fewer, larger capacity, pouch cells. Maybe the cylindrical cells vary less?? If anyone can shed light on this, please do!

In any case, it’s really funny to see that all they’ll do is update the software. So if they had OTA, no recall would have been needed.

(That’s not to say OTA updates have no downsides. It certainly does provide a potentially devastating attack vector. But compromises are possible, such as updating software that cannot actively drive the car over the air, but requiring a physical connection, in addition to digitally signed software, to update code that can steer, accelerate, brake and so on – or cause such actions by modifying or interpreting raw sensor data.)

u_serious?

According to all the dumb GM fanboys, GM designed the battery pack and drive train.
By that logic the fault lies on GM. At least they’re consistant. Being constantly crap garbage. Probably why they decided to stop building cars and continue on gas guzzler trucks and SUV’s. They even had to fight for consessions and more incentives in South Korea so they don’t go bankrupt there…….lol.

Saved by US tax payers so they can still suck and lose money. What a pathetic waste and junk company. Same ol’ GM when they wenk BK.

Steve

Inexcusable that the software can’t be upgraded over-the-air like Tesla has done since 2012.

Taking your car to a dealer for a software fix… SUCKS.

Michael

Im worried many produces rush cars out focusing of range. It is new market and not many years of experience, so i fear we will see many of these cases during the next years.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

GM is giving EV’s a crap name now.

SJC

They want to get right on this, don’t pretend it does not exist.

Jake Brake

This software update cleans up their dfmea from a severity 10 to a severity 9.

u_serious?

Typical GM garbage.
Same ol’ GM, nothing new here.

Dan

This is why the Bolt needs Over The Air software updates like Tesla. Havng to go to the dealer for software updates is so 1980’s. FAIL!!!

jim stack

If only Nissan with the Wilting LEAF would step up like that we would have something. Their LEAF batteries all Wilt in the heat and never recover. They lose 5-20% a year and if it’s not in their capacity warranty you get stuck with the cost of a new battery that will also wilt. Even if it’s under warranty you have to be able to drive it at 60% capacity or so until it drops down to their limit.
They are the biggest selling electric and have done more to harm the industry and peoples views of how an electric should work than any other company. I’d wonder if they get paid by big OIL to make this fatal flaw in their cars. Other than that they are great cars. The the battery is most of the car and expense.

Anderlan

EV testing should involve shooting the battery pack. Not just with a high caliber bullet, but with a high power laser, while driving (presumably fired from within the cabin, using plenty of ventilation, also presumably using the pack’s own power, heheh). Seriously, you want the machine to keep working with a dead cell(s), while isolating the damage. This is where Tesla’s thousands of cells show up as actual good design. You can lose dozens of cells and it’s a wash whether something is wrong or you just had an unusual amount of electrode plating last month. The service center will fix it–and then only if the overall system degradation is out of spec/schedule.

(The thousands-of-cells approach also totally allowed them to quickly jump to grid-storage energy scales.)

Terry Hancock

I have a 2018 Bolt, bought in May 2018, and it IS on the recall list.

Terry Hancock

Love Bolt. Have that new 2018. However, please check out the Chevy Bolt Forum. You will find documentation of complete battery replacements. Most recently, in regard to this latest update, the techs did not unplug the harness from the Bolt and completely ruined a guy’s new Bolt. When he was told, “the update didn’t take”, he did not know that they blew a lot of electronics, and he has been told that it may take months to fix. The message here is that Chevy techs need to at least know the procedure, as it is printed out for the public. FIRST on the list is to disconnect several harnesses up front. I am going to wait for Chevy to get their techs up to speed, before I go in to get the update. And, even then, I plan on getting on their s..t list by mentioning the harnesses, BEFORE my car goes behind the wall.