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Chevy Bolt Recall

A Chevy Bolt Recall Story

In July of 2021, GM announced a recall of all Chevy Bolt EV and Bolt EUV models due to a small number of faulty batteries causing fires. As of October, 12 faulty battery fires have occurred–which is only about 0.012% of Bolts on the road. In comparison, the National Fire Protection Association reported 212,000 fires in gas and diesel vehicles in 2018, nearly 0.07% of vehicles nationwide. Despite the rarity of these fires, GM is taking major precautions for the safety of consumers. Until GM can conduct repairs on existing vehicles, they have asked Bolt owners to take the following safety measures:

  • Set your vehicle settings to a 90% state of charge limitation using Hilltop Reserve mode (2017-2018 models) or Target Charge Level mode (2019-2022 models)
  • Charge your vehicle more frequently and avoid letting the battery level fall below 70 miles of charge
  • Park your vehicle outside after charging and don’t charge inside overnight
GM’s long-term solution includes a comprehensive action plan with software and hardware remedies for faulty battery systems. GM has already begun replacement battery module production and they expect to begin shipping the replacement parts in mid-October. Since GM’s announcement, many Bolt owners have had to choose to either follow the above instructions until they can get replacement parts or participate in GM’s buyback program. Many owners are deciding between waiting it out or getting the refund and looking for a new car elsewhere.

Kevin’s Story

Kevin Morrison purchased his Chevy Bolt in October of 2020. When he first heard the recall announcement he initially felt unbothered, “At first I thought well, this isn’t going to happen to me so I’m not going to worry about it too much.” He hadn’t had any issues with charging or overheating in the almost year he’d owned his Bolt, but after a few days he decided to participate in GM’s buyback program. “If you are like me and you want to put it in the garage and not worry then that’s where I think the tipping point is.”

Kevin found the buyback process simple and efficient. After calling the phone number GM provided for Bolt owners (1-833-EVCHEVY), he provided his name, email, phone, and VIN number and the process was started. GM had Kevin submit his bill of sale or retail sales contract, a photo of his odometer with the current mileage, valid vehicle registration, and the financial institution in charge of his lease. “A week later I got the buyback offer so they say the whole process is supposed to take four to eight weeks,” Morrison said.

The buyback offer was a full refund for everything Kevin had paid up to that point, minus a use fee which he described as “a modest amount.” Now he’s waiting until he can turn over his vehicle to a Chevy dealer and receive his refund. Despite giving up his Bolt, Morrison was clear, “I love the Bolt. It’s a terrific car. When they fix this problem, whoever owns my Bolt down the road, they’re going to get a great car.”

Hear about Kevin’s Bolt experience:

Bolt Replacement Options

As Bolt owners begin to participate in the buyback program, they’ll need to begin looking for a new vehicle, either to lease or buy. Below are some EV models currently on the market that are comparable to the Chevy Bolt.

VehicleMSRP*Electric Range**Features
Hyundai Kona $34,000258 miles- Crossover
- 5 seats
- 19.2-45.8 cu. ft. cargo space
Kia Niro EV$39,990239 miles- Crossover
- 5 seats
- 18.5-53 cubic feet of cargo space
Nissan Leaf$27,400149 - 226 miles- Hatchback
- 5 seats
- 23.6-30 cubic feet of cargo space
Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus$41,990263 miles- Sedan
- 5 seats
- 15 cubic feet of cargo space plus frunk
Volkswagen ID.4$39,995260 miles- Crossover
- 5 seats
- 30.3-64.2 cubic feet of cargo space
*MSRP and base pricing fluctuates frequently.
**Many vehicles have higher range options that cost a little more.

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