UPDATE: Chevy Bolt Finally Gets Its Over-The-Air (OTA) Updates


It’s official, GM has added OTA updates for the Chevrolet Bolt EV, and it’s not just to make your radio better.

We’ve been aware for some time that over-the-air updates were coming for the Bolt, at least in some capacity. What we weren’t sure of is how long we might have to wait, how far GM would go with it, and exactly how the system would work.

***UPDATE: According to a rep for GM who has reached out to us:

The battery calibration software must be done at the dealer and is not available over the air.

More Information: Possible Chevy Bolt Battery Cell Failure Prompts GM Statement / Recall

In the past few days, mostly due to the story about the potential Bolt battery failure and GM’s related statement, talk of OTA updates has escalated. However, as far as we could tell, even if the remote updates were initiated, this problem would still require a visit to your local dealership.

It seems that almost overnight, the story may have changed. Perhaps not having to issue a recall and deal with a wider amount of negative press, GM got its act in gear to quickly move forward with the new technology? Not only do we have the automaker’s official letter (attached below), but also the following video explaining the OTA process and how it works.

While we are not 100 percent certain that the recent battery warning notification issue will be able to be fully addressed via the free OTA technology, that seems to be the idea. The letter specifically mentions the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt. So, once we’re able to glean more solid details, we’ll update this post.

It’s important to note once again that GM contacted us with a statement verifying that the battery concern only impacts 2017 Bolt EVs and is not being treated as a safety recall.

You can visit the My Chevrolet page to learn more about OTA updates and other aspects of your Bolt EV.

Below is GM’s letter in its entirety:

April 2018
This notice applies to your vehicle, VIN: 1G1FW6S06H———–.
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 steps. You may be asked to accept the download of the software update package. The vehicle must be parked to accept the download, but after the download is accepted, you will be able to use your vehicle normally during the download process. Once the download is completed, you will then be asked to accept the installation of the software update package. During installation of the software update package, your vehicle must be parked. You may also notice one or more system resets during the installation process.

IMPORTANT: You do not need to remain in your vehicle during the software installation. The vehicle cannot be driven during the software install process (up to 10 minutes). The vehicle must be parked at a safe and secure location with the ignition in the OFF position during installation. Also, electric vehicle battery charging cannot occur during software installation. Please ensure that your charging cable is unplugged prior to starting the installation. Once the installation is complete, you may plug in your vehicle and resume normal charging.

For more information about the remote vehicle update process, please refer to the appropriate “Learn About Page” at:

If you receive a message that the installation cannot continue or did not complete successfully, the installation process may retry after your next ignition cycle. If the problem persists, please contact your dealer for assistance with the software update.

You can also decline the update by selecting the “More Info” button, and then the “Decline Update” option. If you decline the update, you can still receive it at a later date by contacting your dealer. This programming opportunity will be in effect until April 30, 2020.

We want you to know that we will do our best, throughout your ownership experience, to ensure that your Chevrolet Bolt EV provides you with many miles of enjoyable driving. If you have any questions, please contact the Connection Center Team at 877-558-8352, 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM, Eastern Standard Time (EST), seven days a week.

Terry M. Inch
Executive Director
Global Connected Customer Experience
2017 Bolt EV Software Update Instructions
31057 Louis Chevrolet Rd. Service Operations Warren, Michigan 48093-2355

Hat tip to Fabian La Maestra and Brian R!

Keep the conversation going on our Forum. Follow the thread about this article and make your point heard.


Chevrolet Bolt EVs - finding more US driveways every month!
29 photos
The introduction (and US reception) of the Chevy Bolt EV has pulled forward GM's 200,000th sale by at least a year (now expected in Q2 2018) Chevrolet Bolt at the recent GM Official autocross event near Detroit. Chevrolet Bolt EV (wallpaper 2,560x) Chevrolet Bolt EV Chevrolet Bolt EV (wallpaper 2,560x) Chevrolet Bolt EV (wallpaper 2,560x) 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Chevrolet Bolt EV The best option overall is generally to drive at normal speed Chevrolet Bolt Chevrolet Bolt Chevrolet Bolt EV Interior Chevrolet Bolt EV:  Lots of useful room inside...and a fair about of standard finishes Bolt Interior Chevy Bolt Chevrolet Bolt EV - right-hand-drive?! Chevy Bolt rear seats The rear seating area offers plenty of room for passengers Inside the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt

Source: My Chevrolet

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26 Comments on "UPDATE: Chevy Bolt Finally Gets Its Over-The-Air (OTA) Updates"

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Finally, FFS!
Now if we can get Nissan to play Tesla OTA Ketchup Now!


If they want to stay in the game, they Mustard.


Bolt EV owners now can relish the thought that an OTA update can get them out of a pickle.


Mayo the cars soon be OTA cars.


It is good to see they got their buns moving on adding OTA.

If they can make OTA work to fix the battery issue, that would certainly explain why there would be no reason at all for a formal recall.


Supposedly my Bolt is in the first “batch” that will receive the OTA updates. I’ll post once I get ‘er done!


Yo Bro how many times have you bashed Tesla for having over the air updates only because your bolt didn’t? Hundreds of times from all the basement dwelling posts that show up. You are quite the hypocrite on just about everything.

Now at least you won’t have to go to the dealership and get a loaner while they update your software.

I guess finally getting something Tesla has had for the last 6 years in your bolt just shows how far the bolt and GM are really behind.


From article: “This [OTA] programming opportunity will be in effect until April 30, 2020.”

Does that mean OTA function turned back off after April 30?

Good to see GM get into modern OTA even if only on a limited basis.

Is this related to GM’s not fully rolling out OTA feature?:

“… Unlike Tesla, most automakers depend on independent dealers to sell their cars, and dealers have good reason to oppose automatic updates that would take them out of the loop…” source:

“The over-the-air software updates Musk pioneered to add features or fix flaws in his electric vehicles are being embraced by more automakers, a potentially grim development for dealers who typically rely on parts and service for as much as half of gross profit…” source:


“Boiled down to its essence, OEMs can’t offer existing customers new features for their vehicles without the car dealerships getting their cut. This is in contrast to Tesla, which has done much to highlight the utility of OTA updates.” source:


Proving more and more the dealer model is outmoded and will only last through artificial measures like protectionist laws at the State level. Let’s hope GM figures out how to release a new badge that has no dealerships. That will be fun!


It’s nice that they tell you how large the download is and what the update does BEFORE it is applied, though more details would be appreciated along with the version/date of the firmware.


Does Tesla not provide this info for their OTA updates?


I could tell you, but Elon has orbital class rockets he is trying to get rid of, so… 😉
No, Tesla only informs you of the update after it has been downloaded to the car and provides a time estimate of how long it would take to apply it. Only after the update is applied one sees the version number (basically a YYYY.WW.revision (build) and the high-level changes. To be fair the cell connection in the car is included, and one does not have to use Wi-Fi to get OTA updates.


The cell connection is also provided by GM via Onstar, which is cell reliant. Verizon I believe.




Maybe now they will build a sc network too.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

“a dedicated network of charging stations for drivers renting Chevrolet Bolt EVs”

Now isn’t that the same reason why so many people blast Tesla for their “dedicated SC’s”?!?!?!?!?

Where are those people now that flame on that same principle?????


Are those people the same ones that blasted GM for not putting any efforts for building a private network like Tesla?


Well, it’s EVGo and CCS, so could easily be changed to allow public accesss. But I am disappointed that they are limiting it to Maven drivers. But it makes sense as GM see shifting to car sharing and TaaS as the way to be profitable selling EVs and facing the receding tides of the private ownership model.


Who are these people you keep referrring to?

I don’t ever recall anyone saying that Tesla is a big meanie because they only allow Tesla cars to charge at their SCs…

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

“and prevent instances of intermittent screen freezing.”

Hmmm, I thought Bro1999 said this was already fixed?


On my Bolt, yes, but there are still many Bolts out there running the original UI software version.


We got the email from Chevy yesterday. Haven’t seen anything pop up on our Bolt’s screen yet though. Email said the update would be pushed out in phases April through August. We will see….


Cool. Given there is basically no scheduled maintenance to perform, the service bay is going to get awfully lonely. Besides tires which could be purchased elsewhere, there doesn’t seem to be a whole bunch to do.


How much data does it take? Is it through wifi or cellular network, if so, which one?