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

4 thoughts on “Chevy Bolt Battery Recall – Selective Replacements

  • December 12, 2020 at 2:30 pm

    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.

    • December 17, 2020 at 1:36 am

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

  • December 13, 2020 at 3:49 am

    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.

  • January 6, 2021 at 12:40 am

    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.


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