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Chevrolet Bolt battery fixes to start by mid-October, GM says

Jamie L. LaReau, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Automotive News

Additionally, GM will begin launching a new advanced diagnostic software package within the next 60 days that will reduce the inconvenience for customers while waiting for their battery module repair.

This software will detect specific abnormalities that might indicate a damaged battery in Bolt EVs and EUVs by monitoring the battery performance; alerting customers of any anomalies, and prioritizing damaged battery modules for replacement. Once the diagnostic software is installed and the diagnostic processes are complete, Bolt owners can return to a 100% state of charge.

This new software, which will be provided to all Bolt EV and EUV owners, requires dealer installation, which can be scheduled starting in 60 days. But those customers will still have to get the new battery modules completed at some point.

"We're optimistic a new advanced diagnostic software will provide more convenience for our customers," Parks said.

GM will prioritize Bolt EV and EUV customers whose batteries were manufactured during specific build timeframes where GM believes battery defects appear to be clustered.

"We know the timeframes, but we're not sharing them publicly," said GM spokesman Dan Flores.

GM has a notification process that will inform affected customers when their replacement modules will be available.

GM also updated its parking instructions for Bolt owners after it said last week to not parkin parking structures and to park 50 feet from other vehicles. Kelly said if customers are following GM's safety instructions, they can park in a location of their choice, even parking structures.

 

"But leave ample space, it doesn't have to be 50 feet, but ample space between vehicles," Kelly said, adding GM is not aware of any fires that have occurred where customers followed this safety guidance, in parking decks or otherwise.

As a reminder, here are the safety guidelines from GM:

—Keep the car charged to only 90%.

—Avoid depleting the battery below a range of at least 70 miles.

—Do not park the car in a garage or charge it overnight.

But many owners have told the Free Press they want GM to buy their cars back, stating they no longer feel safe driving them. But GM said it has been buying back Bolts on a case-by-case basis.

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