On Friday, GM sent out a message to some early Bolt EV owners warning them they are recalling a few battery packs after detecting an issue that could cause them to shut down inexplicably.
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Bolt EV owner Brad Berman from PluginCars.com had the issue with his own car earlier this month.
“On that Tuesday afternoon, the dashboard indicated approximately 100 miles of remaining range. (Because I was less than one mile away from home, I did not take note of the exact state of charge.) After a few seconds of a warning chime, the steering wheel shuddered, and the vehicle quickly came to a complete stop in the middle of the road. When I looked down at the dashboard, the indicated remaining range had abruptly changed to nine miles.”
Unlike an electric vehicle with a depleted battery going into low-power mode, the Bolt EV was completely shutting down while in drive.
Kevin Kelly, senior manager for advanced technology communications at GM, says the problem is due to one or more battery cells, which are manufactured by LG Chem, malfunctioning in the battery pack.
GM expects that less than 1 percent of the more than 10,000 Bolt EVs are affected by the issue and they plan to replace the entire battery pack of all the affected vehicles.
The Bolt EV is a small crossover all-electric vehicle with 238 miles of range and a $37,500 starting price.
It’s nothing surprising. The Bolt EV is a new vehicle program and like any new vehicle program, it’s normal that its early production would result in a few issues.
What is interesting though is that GM was able to diagnose the anomaly remotely via data from the Bolt EV’s OnStar system. It enabled the automaker to alert only the owners of affected vehicles.
If you didn’t get a notification yet, you are likely OK. GM says that the problems affect only early production models. Bolt EV production started in December 2016 – though Berman says that he received his vehicle 6 months after the start of production, so it’s something to take into account.