Chevrolet is now in the process of replacing the battery packs of the Bolt EV and Bolt EUV, as these two models’ original pack was had defects that could cause a fire - 18 such incidents were officially confirmed and linked to bad batteries. The manufacturer began replacing the battery packs of all affected vehicles from the 2017 through 2022 model years, and it looks like it’s prioritizing older cars first.
According to this report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), discovered by one of our new forum members, Lee Lightfoot, Chevrolet has already replaced the battery pack in 62 percent of affected Bolts built under the 2017 through 2019 model years. Chevy says that last quarter it changed 26,952 battery packs.
If it keeps it up at the same rate, all Bolts built through the 2019 model year will have been fixed (some 50,413 examples are affected). Another document issued for 2021 through 2022 model year affected Chevy Bolts shows that these newer cars haven’t received new batteries yet - just 701 swaps were performed out of a total 52,414 pool of affected vehicles.
Most of the cost of the replacement batteries (around $1.9-billion out of a total estimated cost of $2-billion) will be supported by LG Chem, the company that supplied the packs to General Motors. It also worked with the manufacturer to discover the problems that cause the fires, which were eventually narrowed down to possible broken anode tab or a folded separator.
Owners of Bolt EVs equipped with the new battery are also reporting a range increase with the fresh pack. When our own Tom Moloughney took part in a range test of a Bolt with a newly replaced battery, he found that post swap it was able to travel for around 13.5 percent longer than before.
As it previously announced, Chevrolet restarted Bolt EV and Bolt EUV production at the start of April and all new vehicles feature the fixed battery pack, the one that is now being installed in older Bolts.
Sources: Lee Lightfoot / InsideEVs Forums, NHTSA (1), NHTSA (2)