I (Can't) See Clearly Now: Chevrolet Bolt Owner Struggles to Fix His Dash's Blinding Glare

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
i can t see clearly now chevrolet bolt owner struggles to fix his dash s blinding

Last week, TTAC’s Bozi Tatarevic *cough* shed light on an issue facing owners of certain high-end Chevrolet Bolt EVs. In top-shelf Premier trim, the little hatchback offers airy Light Ash Gray and Ceramic White interiors, complete with an equally light-colored dash.

Unfortunately for buyers living in areas not perpetually enshrouded in fog, rain clouds, or 24-hour shadows, the reflection of sunlight off the palest dash is best described as retina-searing. A whiter shade of pale. The Trinity Test at 0.00001 seconds. In sunny climes, it’s nothing short of a serious safety issue, which explains complaints sent to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Short of wearing 1950s welder’s goggles bought at a Defence Department yard sale, a practice fraught with its own safety issues, owners are left figuring out a solution on their own. After we published the story, one owner reached out to show us just how bad the Bolt can be.

The owner, “Steve M,” who hails from sunny California and has filed a complaint to the NHTSA, claims to have driven hundreds of vehicles over the years, but, in his words, has never seen glare this extreme. Steve’s photos show the extent of the glare when the sun is high in the sky.

Bolt drivers may as well be facing a whiteboard, not a windshield.

In Steve’s words:

I fully understand that many cars have glare to some extent. With the low angle of windshields, there is really no good way around it. Even the Bolt with the darker dash does reflect some. However, it is nowhere near as severe as the light-colored dash. Depending on where and how bright the sun is, the issue can span from annoying to blinding. At times, very dangerous!

As seen on Chevy Bolt fan forums, owners have begun crafting makeshift rugs for their vehicle’s dashtop. In Steve’s case, a gray cloth spread out across the dash provides a decent, if unsightly, remedy for the issue. You can see the “ridiculous” cloth in the photos above and below.

For this owner (who took delivery of his new Bolt on a cloudy, rainy day) suggestions from commenters aren’t of much help:

Yes, polarized sunglasses help, but I for one do not always like to wear sunglasses in certain light and sometimes you forget them. Suggesting sunglasses as a solution for this issue is like buying a new boat with a leak, and the fix is to just buy rubber boots to keep your feet dry…

Many are suggesting glass film, paint, dash covers, etc. The bottom line is that the dark dash does not reflect anywhere near as much. This is a relatively simple fix for Chevy. Just replace the the light dash with the darker. It’s my understanding that the light dash is more rare so there are not as many out there to replace. In fact, they have not sold that many Bolts overall! Now is the time to resolve the issue.

When asked about the issue, Steve’s dealer suggested a dash cover. Apparently, only one company makes one that fits, and it’s not of the highest quality. “This is an issue in itself as there are sensors, vents, speakers, displays and not to mention airbags that could be impacted by a ‘tacky dash cover,'” Steve said of the prescribed cover.

He’s since asked the dealer to speak with the regional manager.

We contacted several General Motors representatives before publishing our first too-sunny Bolt story, only to never hear back. Hopefully Steve, as well as other owners, has better luck finding a solution for this problem.

[Images: Steve M.]

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2 of 37 comments
  • Cprescott Very expensive all terrain golf cart.
  • 56m65711446 ALL AEB systems should be tested using a SES executive from DoT as the test dummy.
  • TheMrFreeze Wife and I bought just bought new (to us) daily drivers...both have manual transmissions and neither has any kind of "new" safety nanny technology in it. By choice. That's how we roll.
  • IanGTCS Where I live safety inspections are only required when transferring ownership except between spouses. The ministry or police can in theory pull unsafe vehicles off the road but I haven't heard of that happening. Commercial vehicles over a certain weight required annual inspections and I've seen unsafe ones removed from the road a few times. I'm honestly fine with no regular inspections. A ball joint or bearing can go from fine to goodbye wheel in less time than a year anyways. Can't say I see too many total wrecks driving around so it would be kind of pointless.
  • IH_Fever No. I'd rather that money be spent to enforce vehicle laws on an as needed basis. The 10 year old car with a check engine light on for some sensor is a danger to no one. The crapbox with 5 different color body panels, paper tags and saran wrapped windows is more of a concern.