General Motors has released a fix for the Chevy Bolt EV battery after it recalled 69,000 units of the electric hatchback over fire risks.
The automaker issued a recall for certain versions of the 2017-2019 model year Chevy Bolt EV last year after it received reports from owners of the vehicle’s battery pack suddenly overheating and catching fire. It later issued a temporary software update for the Bolt EV that reduced the battery pack capacity to 90 percent while it investigated the cause of the fires and worked on a more permanent solution.
In an announcement this week, GM said dealerships will use diagnostic tools to test affected vehicles for battery problems and replace the battery packs as necessary. These vehicles will receive “advanced onboard diagnostic software” as well, which can detect potential issues with the battery pack before major problems can develop.
The automaker will also release a software update restoring battery capacity in affected Chevy Bolt EV vehicles to 100 percent. This software was released today for owners of the 2019 Chevy Bolt and will be pushed to owners of 2017 and 2018 model year vehicles at the end of May. This altered software will also be present in the 2022 Chevy Bolt EV and 2022 Chevy Bolt EUV, which will go on sale this summer.
The automaker says the fire risk issue occurs when the vehicles are charged at or close to 100 percent capacity. Chevy Bolt Executive Chief Engineer Jesse Ortega also said previously that the battery fires can be traced back to defective cells manufactured by GM supplier LG Chem in South Korea between May 2016 and May 2019.
Two class action lawsuits have been filed against GM over this issue, although GM had not released a fix or identified the root cause of the fires at the time the lawsuits were filed.