GM has issued a recall for the Chevrolet Bolt after a series of fires that were linked to a faulty cell in the EV’s battery pack manufactured by LG Chem in Ochang, Korea. The automaker has proceeded to recall all Bolt EVs manufactured between the 2017 and 2022 model years, as well as Bolt EUVs from the 2022 model year, in order to have their battery packs replaced.
It also advised owners (out of an abundance of caution, as explained in the official announcement text) to set the maximum possible state of charge in their vehicles to 90 percent, while at the same time it also encouraged owners to charge more frequently and to a lower level as well as not allow the range to drop below 70 miles (113 km). The third point in the recall text also advised owners to park their vehicles outside after charging and never leave it indoor overnight.
However, even in spite of these guidelines that must (and probably in most cases do) make owners feel very uneasy, one study is saying not all of them abide by these recommendations. Recurrent says that as many as 30 percent of all owners of affected Bolts and Bolt EUVs are still charging past 90 percent or allowing range to drop lower than is recommended.
Scott Case, Recurrent CEO says
This is something that owners of newer Bolts need to start considering as they plug in. Looking at historical data from owners of other model years, we're talking about a lot of people -- potentially 30% of these owners -- who have to change their behavior for a while.
Recurrent has gathered its data from the 1,000 or so Bolt owners who are using the company’s EV battery monitoring service. It noted a 16 percent drop in Bolt owners charging to 100 percent after GM announced the recall in November. Then, in April of this year, GM announced it had created a software fix that allowed the vehicle to be safely charged up to 100 percent.
In mid-July, the NHTSA posted a consumer alert that Bolts with the software fix were still going up in flames, and it was then that the no more than 90 percent and no lower than 70-mile range recommendation was issued, as well as parking the vehicle outside.
Earlier in the year, Scott Case said
The Bolt owners that we’re seeing data from are probably the most engaged and responsive group out there. They are thinking about their battery health all the time. It’s a little concerning to see nearly 20% of these cars still charging to 100% at times, but it’s understandable given the changing guidance over time.