The rise of electric cars is well underway. General Motors (GM) has joined the trend with the Chevrolet Bolt, a fully electric hatchback. The model is incredibly popular in the US as an electric car. In 2017, the year it was released, it was the second-most popular plug-in electric car on the market. The popularity continues today, with Kelley Blue Book naming it one of the Top Considered Electrified Models of 2021.
However, just because a car is popular doesn’t mean it’s always reliable. The Chevy Bolt has been plagued with recalls in the past two years. The vehicles have suffered issues from total electrical drive failures to fires. Despite their popularity, it’s clear that Chevy Bolts are vulnerable to manufacturing defects that turn them into lemons.
If you’re concerned your Chevy Bolt may be defective, you can get help from Johnson & Buxton – The Lemon Law Guys. Our team has decades of experience with California lemon laws, and we’re prepared to help you get the manufacturer to take responsibility if your Bolt is more like a brick. Call 805-870-8449 to get your free consultation.
History of Chevrolet Bolt Recalls
Like many electric vehicles, the problems with the Chevy Bolt are linked to its battery. Electric vehicle (EV) batteries must have high capacities and be incredibly stable to be safe for use. Unfortunately, it appears that Chevy Bolt batteries don’t meet those requirements. Here’s the history of recalls on the Bolt and why they were necessary.
November 2020 Chevy Bolt Fire Recall
The original recall occurred in November of 2020 after the NHTSA identified the vehicles as a fire risk after at least five vehicles caught on fire due to battery problems. The NHTSA warned owners to park outside and away from flammable objects because the vehicles posed a risk to structures and people within them.
General Motors issued the recall after determining that batteries made at a specific factory posed a fire risk when charged at or near 100% capacity. The initial recall targeted the 2017-2019 model year Bolts and affected 50,932 cars in the US.
The recall included instructions for drivers to limit their batteries’ charging levels. Owners of 2017 and 2018 models were supposed to enable “Hill Top Reserve” options for their cars, which would prevent the car from charging to 100% capacity. Similarly, 2019 model owners were told to set the vehicle’s “target charge level” to 90%.
Meanwhile, GM issued software to its dealerships that could be installed on the Bolts to limit charging capacity for owners who didn’t feel comfortable making the changes themselves. However, all of these measures were only temporary fixes.
April 2021 “Final” Recall Remedy
In April 2021, GM issued what was supposedly the “final” recall fix. This fix involved replacing specific battery modules that GM had identified as causing the battery fires and installing diagnostic software to monitor batteries for irregularities. It was intended to remove the need for charging limits on the cars and make it safe to charge them to 100% capacity again.
August 2021 Chevy Bolt Fire Recall
By the end of August 2021, it became clear that GM’s attempted fixes did not actually resolve the issues with burning batteries. The NHTSA determined that the vehicles were still a fire risk and renewed its warning for owners to park all Chevy Bolt models, from 2017 to 2022, outside and away from flammable objects.
GM issued a new recall covering all year model Chevy Bolts and expanding to include the EUV line as well as the EV line. This brought the total number of targeted vehicles to nearly 142,000. The new recall fix involved entirely replacing the batteries, as GM claims the fire risk is due to manufacturing defects introduced by the original manufacturing plant.
How to Find Out if Your Chevy Bolt Is a Lemon
With all of these recalls, your Bolt EV is likely to have battery problems, at the very least. It may also have other issues common to EVs, including:
- Electrical drive failures: If any part of the system between your ignition and the engine fails, your electric car may completely fail to turn on. This is known as an electrical drive failure, and it often requires expensive and rare parts to fix.
- Glitches in the control panel: Electric cars rely heavily on software to run. Any problems in that software can cause your control panel to fail, making it difficult or impossible to control aspects of your car’s operation, like the environmental systems or cruise control.
- Regenerative braking system problems: Electric vehicles use regenerative braking to recover electricity when slowing down. However, this makes the brakes much more complicated and can cause dangerous problems if something goes wrong.
If you’re concerned that your Bolt might be a lemon, you need to find out as soon as possible to get it fixed. California lemon laws protect you if your car has manufacturing defects that make it dangerous to drive or hurt its value.
These laws require you to follow strict deadlines if you want to hold manufacturers accountable for their flaws. That’s why it’s essential to find out if your Bolt is a lemon sooner rather than later. You can check our Consumer’s Guide to Lemon Law or take our quiz to see if you qualify.
Talk to a Ventura Lemon Law Lawyer Today
Chevrolet Bolts have faced multiple serious recalls. If your Bolt has other manufacturing defects and you can’t seem to get them fixed for good, then it may qualify as a lemon according to California law. If so, you could be eligible for compensation, such as getting your car replaced or refunded.
If you suspect your Bolt is a lemon, you should call Johnson & Buxton – The Lemon Law Guys to discuss your situation. They can help you determine if it’s likely to be a lemon and help you decide what to do next. Get your free lawyer consultation by calling 805-870-8732 or reaching out through this online form.