General Motors has begun reaching out to owners of early-production Chevrolet Bolt EVs after a serious battery issue was identified. According to PlugIncars, early examples of the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV may not be reporting the correct remaining range before the battery runs out of charge.
“We noticed an anomaly via data from OnStar and that led us to investigate the issue,” said Kevin Kelly, senior manager for advanced technology communications at General Motors. According to his estimates, the issue affects less than one percent of early-production Bolt EVs. Nonetheless, the problem exists and is impacting owners in the real world.
What happens is the following: one or more battery cells begin to malfunction, which then provides a false range reading to the vehicle’s computer, reflected on the dashboard. Therefore, drivers may see 100 miles of range before the battery is depleted, when in reality, it could be just a couple dozen miles.
The author of the original report – an owner of a 2017 Bolt EV – experienced the battery malfunction first hand. Per his account, the dashboard indicated approximately 100 miles of remaining range, but in an instant, the Bolt EV shut down with a warning chime. The steering wheel didn’t budge, and the Bolt EV could not be shifted into “Drive” or “Reverse.” Suddenly, the vehicle indicated just nine miles of range remaining.
After shifting into neutral, he maneuvered the car out of the way of traffic and called for a tow. The truck driver reportedly said his car was the third Bolt EV picked up in recent days. Dealer diagnostics confirmed a bad battery cell was the root of the issue.
Kelly did not give an exact number of how many owners will be notified, but an investigation is underway to define a more specific production time frame of Bolt EVs that could be affected.