General Motors To Reportedly Buy Back Problem-Plagued Chevrolet Bolt – Video


When life gives you lemons, you seek out the automaker for a buyback.

That’s the case here with this problem-plagued Chevrolet Bolt that’s been in and out of the shop since day one basically.

Faulty Bolt To Be Bought Back By GM

Lemon laws vary state-to-state, but in general they allow for “forced” or  “voluntary” buybacks of problem cars after a certain number of unsuccessful attempts are made to fix an issue. The other course of action would be a lawsuit in court, but typically automakers step up and go the buyback route.

That’s what General Motors is reportedly doing in this case.

Video description:

“This is our saga with our new Chevy Bolt EV. Hopefully your experience will differ greatly. I think we got a rare lemon. I will be calling GM on Monday to see what they will do for us. I will give them a chance to make it right before going to Lemon Law Arbitration, which is the law here in California. I’m sure GM will stand behind their product.”

And sure enough, just a couple of days later, the video uploader and owner of the problematic Bolt, stated:

“Yep. GM is buying back our original defective Bolt and we’re getting a new one — hopefully defect free.”

“GM has been awesome as has the service and sales department at Quality Chevrolet in Escondido. The service department contacted GM on my behalf and I’m getting a full refund for money spent on the car. The dealership gave me a better deal than I had before on a new one. Super Kudos to GM and Quality Chevrolet. A class act all around.”

Category: ChevroletVideos

Tags: ,

52 responses to "General Motors To Reportedly Buy Back Problem-Plagued Chevrolet Bolt – Video"
  1. CLIVE says:

    Wow not a good start for the Chevy BOLT


    1. Someone out there says:

      Why is that? It’s one car out of several thousands. There’s always going to be the odd one that pass inspection even if it shouldn’t.

      1. CLIVE says:

        Because unlike yesterday, things now go viral.

        Damage control time.

        1. ffbj says:

          That is true, especially these days, when people don’t just say things bad about a car. They can do videos upload them on the www.

        2. Someone out there says:

          And GM handled it well so what is there to riot about? If GM would refuse to do something then maybe there would be a story but that’s not the case here.

          1. CLIVE says:

            IF the dealer had handled it better in the first place, there would be zero news story.

            The general manager fixed it with some extra goodwill by giving him a better car deal.

            I bet they learned a thing or two.

            No news is the best news /

            1. Ziv says:

              Don’t lose sight of the fact that despite all the problems with his first Bolt, the car owner wanted a new Bolt, not any other car, as the replacement vehicle.
              Sounds like he knew that most Bolts are reliable, and he had just had the bad luck to get a lemon.
              Sounds like Chevy did the right thing in this case and kept the owner happy.

              1. CLIVE says:

                He was replacing a LEAF

                Not exactly l

                1. ModernMarvelFan says:

                  “He was replacing a LEAF
                  Not exactly ”

                  Replacing a LEAF with a lemon Bolt and then got another “new” Bolt hopefully lemon free.

                  What is the problem here? He still wanted the Bolt instead of asking for a refund…

          2. ffbj says:

            Well I wouldn’t go all gaga over the level of service, and the time the guy spent to get satisfaction, and all the other problematic occurrences that plagued the vehicle, after it was supposedly fix, seems to be emblematic of a service center that did not have clue.

            Sure, eventually they figured out the thing was a paperweight, until they get it back to some guys that know what they are doing, maybe they can fix it. So they had to replace it. Oh how wonderful of GM.
            So overall I give them C-, for the whole kerfuffle. But then I am a hard grader.

            1. ModernMarvelFan says:

              Did you say the same thing with the Tesla lemon problem?

            2. ModernMarvelFan says:

              BTW, you were one of those that claimed that we should have called it LG Bolt. If the problems are all caused by LG supplied parts, are you still going to blame GM for it even though you called it a LG Bolt?

    2. B. Pate says:

      Yah your right I think “his”
      check engine light is on

  2. William says:

    I would call that a “Win – Win”, GM “stealership” experience. He certainly did better than my personal experience at Nissan of Glendale, CA tire rotation service experience. They lost my spare set of Leaf Keys (2) that disappeared for the entire remainder of the week (5 days). No callback from my service representive or the service manager. Had to go back in to the service department over the weekend, and sure enough, the weekend service crew were able to hand over my “lost” set. The SAGE Automotive group, which includes Glenadle Nissan, is currently under FTC investigation for deceptive automotive practices. Interesting how the keys just vanished from my center console of my Nissan Leaf, after I dropped it off and the service representative took over! They had both sets of keys, for Petes Sake! Just Sayin’!

  3. Albemarle says:

    Problem’s happen. But in this case, an intelligent and very patient customer, with an involved dealer. Sure you hope this kind of thing never happens, but if it does, GM couldn’t have hoped for a more accomodating customer. I hope they respond with great generosity.

    I think this is the first time I can remember when someone had a problem in the U. S. and didn’t immediately threaten to sue.

  4. E-lectric says:

    Maybe it will go to the same place all the the buy back BMW i3s went to …

    Auto auction???

    1. Annie says:

      We had no problem with our i3.

      1. CLIVE says:

        And then❓

  5. ffbj says:

    Wow, 23 faults. That’s not just a lemon, like a whole tree, full of them.

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      Could just be a low 12V battery. :p

      1. Martin T. says:

        Agree – So many variety of faults could range from bad 12V battery, to cable connectors bad earths causing spikes. Networked electronics just loves spikes – Not.
        Pity GM don’t publish the eventual culprit.

  6. vdiv says:

    Lemons happen. The story is actually encouraging. Good for GM, for the dealership, and for the customer for resolving this.

  7. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    I really deplore these sorts of stories. Every model of mass produced car, and I do mean every one including whichever one you’re thinking of right now, has the occasional lemon. Entropy happens. Welcome to the universe we live in.

    Using the Internet to spread the story of one single bad example can have an impact on public opinion all out of proportion to the problem. The lesson we should take from this story isn’t that the Bolt EV is a model plagued by bad engineering or poor assembly work; the lesson we should take is that we live in a world in which random things happen, or as Murphy’s Law puts it: “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”. To express the latter in more scientific terms: “The entropy of the universe tends to a maximum.”

    I wish I could give kudos to Quality Chevrolet in Escondido for resolving this matter before it had to be taken to arbitration under State law. Unfortunately, since this happened only after the customer made a public stink about it by posting a video to YouTube, I have serious questions that it’s actually a case of good customer service. Perhaps it’s more of a case of giving in to the pressure of negative publicity. 🙁

    1. CLIVE says:


      1. Joshua Burstyn says:


        1. Nix says:

          couldn’t have said it better myself.

    2. Tim Miser says:

      But how do we know how uncommon this is? Is there a database that publishes lemon occurances that we can look at the facts or are we left to speculate?

      1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

        How else does one find out they’re not the only one with the same issue.

        Just one bad Lemon……..move on.

  8. unlucky says:

    Yep, that one’s a clear loser. GM should swap him up if they are having trouble fixing it.

    The list of faults doesn’t mean much, without a way of knowing which faults are critical and which aren’t the list doesn’t mean much. Also, I don’t know if I’d trust any OBD scanner that uses Comic Sans as a font.

    1. Loboc says:

      I wonder if he disclosed the ODB scanner was connected and when. Did he leave the dongle inserted all the time except when in the shop?

      Was OnStar ever consulted after the first instance?

    2. Tom says:

      I noticed that. See that’s the part that doesn’t add up. I had a 2009 Audi A3 that was constantly in the shop with electrical issues. I think at some point or another they swapped out every electronic component in the vehicle I swear. Including the foot pedal….twice. So I bought one of those scanners just to see what it tells you. It is my understanding that a critical fault message doesn’t just go away. It might not be displaying on the dashboard but the fault log has a log of the occurrence so when it gets scanned those faults show up on the scan. I’m not saying he’s exaggerated but I don’t see how the logs weren’t in there when the dealer scanned it. The thing that I can think of is he was clearing the faults out after he scanned, thus complicating their diagnosis efforts. But yeah my Audi got so bad it literally would do that Christmas tree act he has in his video.

  9. CVVH says:

    headline should be “customer reports awesome customer service from Chevy dealer and GM dealing with rare vehicle problem”

    1. ffbj says:

      Now that would actually be a headline, if it ever actually happened.

  10. ffbj says:

    Oh BTW we fixed it, if, and or but, you will be getting error messages over the next few weeks, as things reset.
    WTF? Is that a line of BS or is that they way it’s supposed to work? I vote for the former.

  11. James says:

    Kudos to Chevrolet and the folks at Quality Chevrolet
    cor making lemonade!

  12. SparkEV says:

    I got my SparkEV at Quality Chevy. It was hassle free, though they didn’t want to negotiate anything. They did give me a fair deal, though; can’t complain. They may not have the best deals in SoCal (that belongs to Rydell in Northridge), but Quality Chevy ranks well.

  13. Fabian says:

    wow, that car has a ton of problems. I would be at the dealership everyday demanding to have everything fixed. Also,I see that the owner and the video has a seat cushion on his front seat. I do also. The front seats are horrible.

  14. Doug says:

    I don’t believe in “Lemon Cars”. Any car can be fixed it just takes a mechanic that knows how to fix it! Dealerships throw up their hands and say “we can’t fix it”! Those electric cars are too complicated and expensive to fix. Nothing could be further from the truth. They just don’t want to invest the time and money to train technicians needed to get the job done.

    1. unlucky says:

      The law defines lemon cars. The company only has so much time and number of chances to fix it before they have to take it back. I’m sure it can be fixed, but if they tried twice and struck out then it’s lemon time.

      Honestly, it wouldn’t be the worst thing for GM to take it back to do a failure analysis on it anyway. So in this case the forced swap is not as bad as it could be for GM.

    2. Loboc says:

      It would be more expensive for the dealer to diagnose than it’s worth. Just have GM buy it back and move on.

    3. Anthony Tabb says:

      Do good mechanic s want to loose there credibility by working on complex constantly changing systems?

    4. ModernMarvelFan says:

      At my company, any field failure gets returned to the factory for FA for the first year so all the engineers (not the field service guys who basically just swap parts) get involved to find root cause on any issues found so the problems can be fed forward to improve.

      Even though the policy requires for at least 1 year after brand new model redesign. But we have been basically doing it for years. We will get every field failed parts back for FA.

      Because of that, our failure rating went from 10ppm down to 2ppm!!!

      That is what it takes to improve quality!

    5. Harvey says:

      The local dealership was working with GM. They sent out a factory repair person to diagnose it. They brought in extra equipment to diagnose it. The Quality Service Manager said that they were just the hands — all repair instructions were coming directly from GM. One of the reasons it took so long in the shop — waiting for that cycle of diagnostics gathered, sent to GM, analyzed, instructions sent back, updates made, diagnostics run. Oh, and waiting for parts — from the factory.

  15. Turbo3 says:

    If he had a new Konnwei KW-902 as his OBDII adapter then that could have been the problem. There was a batch made with a 20 ohm termination resistor instead of the normal 120 ohm one. With 20 ohms you basically short out the CAN bus causing all kinds of DTCs. Remove it and everything is ok.

    1. Harvey says:

      Issues were happening BEFORE I plugged in the ODBII. Maybe, just maybe, it exacerbated the problem, but it didn’t cause it.

      I did tell the GM Bolt Quality Manager the exact model of ODBII I used — sent him the link to the product on He was going to check it out.

  16. Tom W says:

    it’s painful listening this long long drawn out, tedious explanation of what happened this guy … glad to hear GM resolved this with him … before eternity ran out.

    1. Harvey says:

      You only had to live through the video — I had to survive the ordeal. Get over it. I did.

  17. Tom says:

    I think he’s confused. He bought an Audi and doesn’t even know it.

  18. Hank says:

    At least Harvey got to drive his Bolt more than 1 day, not me.

    I leased a new Kinetic Blue Bolt from Keyes Chevy in Van Nuys, CA on Saturday, 4-15. After 6 years driving 2011 and 2014 Nissan Leafs I was jazzed to have the Bolt. On Sunday I drove it about 70 miles, just playing with my new toy. I then plugged it into the 220V charger in my garage to top off for Monday. Monday morning I turned it on and it was broken. Dash says “Reduced engine power” and OnStar says “Problem with engine / transmission. Take it to dealer within 1 day.” So I limped over to my closest dealer, AutoNation Chevy in Valencia, CA and there it sits one week later. AutoNation doesn’t know what is wrong with it so they called in GM engineers, but these guys are not in any hurry to help an unhappy customer. I get second hand reports that they are waiting for engineers to do something or waiting on parts, but this is no consolation to me. I am paying for a brand new high tech car of the future but driving a crappy Chevy Sonic rental because that’s all they have available.

    I tried getting Keyes, the leasing dealer, to trade my Bolt for one that isn’t defective, but after a week elevating my problem through their organization I am told the Bolt was my problem the instant I drove it off the lot and my gripe is now with GM. This may be technically/ legally true but I still think Keyes could have done more than just blow me off.

    My experience with AutoNation, the servicing dealer, shows that they are not prepared to service the cars they are selling in a timely fashion.

    I have started a case file with GM, which means you call a number (800-462-8782) and talk to a representative who tells you how sorry he is and promises someone will call you back within 24 hours, then delayed to 48 hours, then one more day, and still they have not called me back.

    I have called all 3 of these organizations at least 6 times and so far it is all wasted time and frustration. I now have only the CALIFORNIA LEMON LAW as a last resort if I don’t get a speedy resolution to this mess.

    I like the Bolt except for the obvious quality problem, but I hate the Chevy / GM organization. REMEMBER THIS CAR FUNCTIONED FOR ONLY 1 ½ DAYS! I did not agree to pay full price so Chevy could train their mechanics on my car. I am afraid they will butcher it. I want Chevy to buy back this defective junk. I would have been much better off waiting for my Tesla Model 3, eliminating clumsy dealers entirely.

    If you chose to get a Bolt your luck will probably be better than mine, but I recommend you wait until GM fixes their startup bugs and trains their organization to properly support this new car. It would take a major improvement in GM’s response to change my opinion.

    1. Hank says:

      OK- Major change in GM’s response has happened. They are “buying the car back”, although the process may take a week or so. I get a better rental car free until then. This happened 1 day after my post above. If GM had been a little more responsive they could have avoided some bad publicity. But Gaia help me, I am considering trying another BOLT!! There was always a little masochist in me.

      BTW the problem was probably with one of 2 “brains” internal to the battery pack. Engineers were planning on replacing the entire battery pack but could not do so in a timely manner – thus the buy back.


      1. Harvey says:

        For what it’s worth, my 2nd bolt is working fine. We just did a mini-test vacation up to Palm Springs. Only a total round trip distance of 268 miles, but everything went great. Two of us, two big dogs in the back seat, and our luggage in the back. We zipped up hills, down hills, country roads, freeways, through some heavy winds — all good. Of course our first Bolt didn’t die until 29 days in. We’re only at 23 days so far.

        1. Hank says:

          I’m glad to hear your second Bolt is doing well. I’m still waiting for the red tape so I can get my replacement. GM says it will be 3-4 weeks before it is resolved. This will be a total of about 6 weeks to get into mine, and the car lots are full of them! Call me frustrated.