GM announced that it is starting to roll out a new software update to Chevy Bolt EVs as part of its recall due to battery fire risks.
It will limit the state-of-charge to 80%, but it will remove other restrictions, like not being able to park inside garages.
For months, we have been reporting on the mounting pressure to have GM recall the Bolt EV after several cars caught on fire while charging.
Everything pointed to a similar battery defect as Hyundai experienced with its LG batteries in the Kona EV. But while the Korean automaker recalled the vehicles to replace the batteries, GM resisted battery replacements for months.
As we reported at the time, GM put the blame on LG for the first time and even extended the recall to the most recent Bolt EVs in production.
On top of recalling the vehicles and replacing the battery modules, GM started to push new software updates to the fleet to limit the state-of-charge in order for it not to go over 90% or below 70 miles.
It also came with restrictions like asking owners not to charge overnight or park inside after charging.
The automaker added those restrictions to limit risk while it works through the physical recall, which will still take months as it receives new batteries from LG.
Today, GM announced a new software update that will remove those restrictions, but it will limit the battery pack’s state-of-charge to 80%.
The automaker said in a statement to Electrek:
“As battery module replacements continue under the previously announced recall, Chevrolet has informed owners of 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EVs who have not yet received their replacement battery modules that it will begin installation of a software update which will remove the parking and charging limitations on their vehicles while we work on building replacement battery modules. We expect that this software will be available for the remaining Bolt EV and EUV owners in the recall population within approximately the next 30 days.“
In short, it restricts the total range by an additional 10% at the top, but it enables owners to discharge it fully if they have to, which therefore gives them more total range.
GM told Electrek that their research points to this solution mitigating the fire risk while giving owners a more normal experience until they can replace the battery modules.
Owners have to take their cars to the dealership in order to receive the new software update, which GM says also comes with better diagnostic tools to detect problems with the battery pack.
It is now being rolled out to 2019 Chevy Bolt EVs, which GM believes are more at risk, but it will be made available to other builds shortly.
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