Chevy Bolt Battery Recall – Selective Replacements

Chevy Bolt Battery Recall - Selective Replacements

As you have surely seen in the news lately, GM and LG are doing a recall of all 2017-2019 Chevy Bolt EVs with batteries produced in Korea. This recall temporarily forces a reduction of the usable capacity of the battery by 5%, and is out of an abundance of caution, not because there’s an expectation that more fires can or will occur.

Yes, it is actually a 5% reduction, not a 10% reduction. This is a subject of some debate, but they’re limiting the “raw” charge number to 90% (Which could only go up to about 96% before), which results in a “displayed” charge reduction of only 5%. No, there is no buffer, but let’s leave that for another debate.

As a part of this recall, GM has selected an unknown number of batteries for replacement under what’s called an Engineering Investigation analysis umbrella.

This is decided ahead of time – from data collected remotely via OnStar telematics (as well as other unnamed sources) – and not as a result of doing a scan when you bring your vehicle in. There’s no way to cajole yourself into this category. Those who were selected have already been contacted.

Either way, it’s great to see GM and LG nabbing some batteries for analysis.

I suspect that these batteries are either at the limits of voltage tolerance (0.03V from highest to lowest cell), or require frequent balancing, or simply trip other criteria which has been known to potentially lead to problems.

Also note that these are not new 2020 batteries. They will most likely be 2019 batteries produced in the US, which are not subject to the recall. I am going to assume that they’re not just refurbished, which seems very unlikely given the circumstances. If so, the good news is that these batteries do actually have increased range over the 2017 batteries, by about 5-8%, since the increase was gradual over the years and not a sudden jump only in 2020.

If you are at all concerned, please contact the Chevy EV Concierge line at 1-833-EV-CHEVY and they can help you out.

See below for the full recall and replacement details.

Chevy Bolt Battery Recall Selective Replacement

8 thoughts on “Chevy Bolt Battery Recall – Selective Replacements

  • Michael Hickey

    My Bolt a 2017 only goes 125 miles on full charge. My dealer Vic Koning of Carbondale says I have to live with it. Im quite dissapointed. They paint on the windshields of there 220 Bolts they go 258 miles on a single charge. Very deceptive.

    • What are the driving conditions and temperatures? That is not right unless it’s deep winter with a lot of fast highway driving.

  • Matthias E Fischler

    I have a 2017 Bolt and love it.
    It gets me 250+ miles on a hilltop reserve charge. I use hilltop reserve because I know the battery will last longer and I seldom use the full charge unless I go on a long trip.
    I use hilltop reserve all the time so I don’t think I need to have my battery downgraded to save it from fire. Chevy’s
    solution is to give my car hilltop reserve permanently. That I do myself and still keep full range when I need it a few time a year. With full range I can go nearly 300 miles and that’s the way I like it.
    One pedal driving which I do all the time is marvelous. It’s so much easier to drive and I hardly ever use the brakes.
    I also own a Model 3, but I prefer the bolt. The computer control of the Tesla is a pain in the ass and dangerous to use while driving. Steering mounted levers and knobs on the dash of the Bolt are safer and easier to use. The computer is great for knowing what’s going on, not useful for controlling applications.
    The Bolts battery pack, by LG is rated even higher then the Tesla, has not lost any miles after my 80,000 miles of driving.
    I drive very conservatively but will race a BMW or MB if they think they have a chance. No chance except for the top end models. Even a 10 yr old Porsche doesn’t have a chance.
    Don’t want to change anything on the Bolt at this time.

  • I like my 2019 Bolt, it is working well.
    I had the dealership plug into the car to read battery voltages, All were good within 0.01volts, SOC was about 60% at the time. Looking at getting one of the programs to get data off the car.
    Thank You to all that are interested in the EV tech, things are moving in the right direction.

  • Sean, you may recall we played tag on the 401 a couple years ago and your wife and my daughter (using my ID) exchanged some entertaining posts on Facebook. I’m curious what you personally are doing regarding the recall. No doubt you’ve read recent reddit posts about buybacks in the US. Have you had the recall update done limiting range, or are you just continuing to use hilltop? Have you lodged a complaint with GM, or initiated CAMVAP process? Some folks seem really irate. I can see their point if their day to day driving habits are affected. I guess due to covid lots of people aren’t driving as much and have other things to worry about so maybe they just did the recall without thinking much about it. Was just wondering what actions you were taking, if any. Feel free to email me if you prefer not to post here.

  • If it s purely for investigation, the number selective replacements will be very few. Probably less than 100 or so. It would be like winning a small lottery. After investigation they might find a heuristic to help identify dangerous batteries. At that point, all bolts that match that heuristic might get new batteries.

  • Really disappointed in Chevy and the Bolt EV to be honest.

    * 55kW Charging while Ford Mach-E’s in the same (original) price range does 155kW.
    * Zero OTA infotainment updates from Chevy fixing the numerous known bugs.
    * A lazy “final software fix” which tells Chevy if they think your battery is going to catch fire for replacement.

    I love my Bolt EV… but man the blue book values are dropping *FAST*. New 2020 Bolt EV’s are going for 24k’s in places. My 2019 used was 34k. MSRP was 43k

    Even the new EUV suffers the same slow 55kW charging.

    • But how often do people need fast charging? That’s the key. The Mach-E starts at $43k – $10k more than the Bolt. The Bolt also often sells for mid 20s. It’s half the price as the Mach E.


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