Another Chevy Bolt Recall Problem: 1/3 of Owners Have Failed to Get Their EVs Fixed Despite Dangerous Fire Risk, Study Shows

The Chevy Bolt EV is one of GM’s many solutions to the climate change problem, but unfortunately for GM, the Bolt has a few problems of its own. This has led General Motors to make the tough choice of recalling every single Bolt that’s ever been made, but unfortunately, that’s not GM’s only problem. As it stands, about 1 out of 3 Chevy Bolt owners still haven’t gotten their EVs fixed, and that’s a problem.

The Chevy Bolt’s defective batteries

A gray 2022 Chevy Bolt EV model parked on a beach
The 2022 Chevy Bolt EV | Chevrolet Pressroom

At first, the Chevy Bolt’s battery problems seemed bad but fixable. The cars were spontaneously combusting despite not being involved in crashes that might’ve damaged their batteries. General Motors’ first recall for the Bolt happened in November 2020, and it was theorized that the batteries were simply defective due to a rare manufacturing issue. Unfortunately, this was only partially true.

As it turns out, multiple factories produced batteries that had these defects. That’s why GM was forced to expand the recall to every single Bolt ever made. Of course, the solution to this problem is simple but expensive, at least for GM. Currently, it plans to replace every single defective battery pack.

This will take time, and GM plans on keeping Bolt owners up to date when they might be able to get their hands on a replacement. Until then, GM has provided some tips and tricks for owners to lower the chances of their Bolt spontaneously catching on fire. The problem, however, is that not every owner is following those tips. 

1/3rd of Chevy Bolt owners are ignoring GM’s advice

Currently, General Motors is advising that Chevy Bolt owners should avoid charging their cars to over 90% and avoid discharging the battery when it’s below 70 miles of range. However, according to Kelley Blue Book, a recent study by Recurrent showed that not everyone is following that advice. In fact, despite the Bolt getting recalled over 10 months ago, that study said that right now, about 30% of owners aren’t following GM’s advice.

That being said, the actual number might be worse. This is because, as Kelley Blue Book wrote, the study only looked at about 1,000 Bolts that Recurrent was monitoring. The owners of those Bolts had to subscribe to Recurrent to participate in that study, so it may not give an accurate picture about all owners. 

In any case, by not following GM’s advice, many Bolt owners may be putting themselves and their communities at risk. As Kelley Blue Book wrote, several homes have been burned down due to the Bolt’s battery problem. However, the fact that so many folks haven’t followed GM’s advice isn’t too shocking.

Why drivers ignore recalls

The Takata airbag recall was the largest in automotive history. It affected 67 million cars in America, but about 17 million recalled cars are still using defective airbags despite years of publicity. This is because many drivers will not hear about a recall, despite all the recall’s publicity. General Motors is trying to contact every owner, but that won’t catch everyone, either. On top of that, many drivers will ignore a recall.

Additionally, GM’s temporary fix for the Chevy Bolt’s battery problem may be impractical for some folks to do. Both of the tips that GM gave essentially limit how much range the Bolt gets. According to Kelley Blue Book, many Bolt owners may need all the range that they can get from their EV. As such, it would be impractical for them to follow GM’s advice. 

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