GM Replacing Battery Modules On Recalled Chevy Bolts

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
gm replacing battery modules on recalled chevy bolts

The Chevrolet Bolt has become the focus of negative attention following some fire incidents that were believed to be related to battery components. After two recalls, General Motors has decided to replace the battery modules of every model that could be impacted — rather than focusing on units with proven defects.

While it’s undoubtedly going to cost the company a fortune, this is probably the correct move. The implications of negative publicity stemming from repeat vehicle fires have a tendency to linger and be blown up to larger-than-life proportions. This is especially true if an automaker rushed that vehicle to market to better wrangle the segment. Just ask Ford about the Pinto if you’ve any doubts.

GM’s previous solution involved simply updating the software of all 2017-2019 model year Bolt EVs. However, one of those vehicles also caught fire and forced the automaker to double down on its recommendations to have Chevy customers park their cars outdoors a healthy distance from anything they might not want to see barbequed. Charging protocols were also issued, with owners being warned not to fully deplete the battery.

It also threw its supplier under the bus, citing South Korean manufacturer LG Chem’s Ochang facility in South Korea as having issued bunk hardware. Though LG has received additional criticism from other automakers who’ve used its batteries only to find themselves issuing fire-related recalls of their own (e.g. Hyundai).

The supplier has said it’s onboard to help General Motors to ensure recall efforts are carried swiftly and that the duo had jointly identified two manufacturing defects (claimed to be rare) that caused the fires. Those modules will no be replaced, without the need for the automaker to conduct an investigation of every vehicle. Customers can bring their vehicles to any GM service center for repairs, though it will need to be EV-certified to handle this particular recall.

In the meantime, it’s still recommending owners park their Bolts outdoors and charge them after each use to avoid having to keep them plugged in for longer than absolutely necessary. Ideally, the manufacturer doesn’t even want you to leave them unattended while charging. The software update is also supposed to be helpful, though it doesn’t seem to have been an effective remedy overall.

[Image: General Motors]

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  • Akear Akear on Aug 18, 2021

    Fortunately, GM does not sell a lot of these. As this happens Tesla pulls further ahead. With the exception of the Corvette and a few Cadillac sedans does GM produce anything that is desirable.

  • OzarksAccountant OzarksAccountant on Aug 19, 2021

    Subjective of course, but GM seems to be the poster child for recalls these days.

  • Jeffrey An all electric entry level vehicle is needed and as a second car I'm interested. Though I will wait for it to be manufactured in the states with US components eligible for the EV credit.
  • Bob65688581 Small by American standards, this car is just right for Europe, and probably China, although I don't really know, there. Upscale small cars don't exist in the US because Americans associate size and luxury, so it will have a tough time in the States... but again Europe is used to such cars. Audi has been making "small, upscale" since forever. As usual, Americans will miss an opportunity. I'll buy one, though!Contrary to your text, the EX30 has nothing whatsoever to do with the XC40 or C40, being built on a dedicated chassis.
  • Tassos Chinese owned Vollvo-Geely must have the best PR department of all automakers. A TINY maker with only 0.5-0.8% market share in the US, it is in the news every day.I have lost count how many different models Volvo has, and it is shocking how FEW of each miserable one it sells in the US market.Approximately, it sells as many units (TOTAL) as is the total number of loser models it offers.
  • ToolGuy Seems pretty reasonable to me. (Sorry)
  • Luke42 When I moved from Virginia to Illinois, the lack of vehicle safety inspections was a big deal to me. I thought it would be a big change.However, nobody drives around in an unsafe car when they have the money to get their car fixed and driving safely.Also, Virginia's inspection regimine only meant that a car was safe to drive one day a year.Having lived with and without automotive safety inspections, my confusion is that they don't really matter that much.What does matter is preventing poverty in your state, and Illinois' generally pro-union political climate does more for automotive safety (by ensuring fair wages for tradespeople) than ticketing poor people for not having enough money to maintain their cars.