Amid faulty batteries setting EV on fire, frustrated Chevy Bolt owners want their money back after the latest massive recall.
GM says its workers and that of LG are working around the clock to find the solution to the problem.
Some frustrated Chevrolet Bolt EV owners have reportedly demanded from the manufacturer that their money be returned to them after the latest massive recall.
Among many others, Nathan Gardner loved his 2019 Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle when he bought it three years ago, but now it sits outside his home “like a firebomb,” he said.
He wants General Motors to buy it back. So do Bolt owners Wendy Fong, Stan Goldberg, and Durham Smith. They find it unsettling to own a vehicle even GM has warned could catch on fire.
“It’s unnerving at the very least,” said Smith of Lake Wylie, South Carolina. He owns a 2022 Chevy Bolt EUV. “How can we possibly put a car in our garage that might catch on fire? I don’t feel secure parking a car outside given our tree coverage.”
Last month, GM expanded its second recall on Bolts to include all model years through 2022 — that means Smith’s Bolt too, which he’d bought just 15 days earlier.
The recall, which affects about 141,000 vehicles globally, is due to battery defects that could start a fire. There have been a dozen Bolts that have caught fire while parked, although GM has not confirmed that each of those fires was caused by defective batteries.
GM has apologized to its Bolt owners for the inconvenience, saying its workers and that of battery maker, LG Chem, are working around the clock to find the cause of the problem and correct it to ensure defect-free products will be made going forward.
As of last week Friday, GM spokesman Kevin Kelly said the automaker is “still working with LG on manufacturing process updates.”
GM has said that when it is confident that LG Chem can produce defect-free battery modules, GM will notify Bolt owners in writing and repairs will begin.
Once a repair is made, GM will provide an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty on it. In the meantime, GM has assured Bolt owners that if they follow three steps, the cars should be safe: Keep the car charged to only 90%; avoid depleting the battery below a range of at least 70 miles; do not park the car in a garage or charge it overnight.
“We understand the frustration Bolt EV owners are experiencing and are working as quickly as we can to make sure LG has instituted updated manufacturing processes based on both of our teams working together on the issues,” Kelly said.
Some Bolt owners take the recall in stride.
“There’s over 80,000 Bolts made and just over a dozen fires. There’s hundreds more who have been in (unrelated) accidents,” said Douglas Shrock of Eureka, California, who owns a 2021 Bolt. “You’re more likely to get in an accident. That’s my risk assessment. Nothing changed for me.”
Shrock even used an inverter on his Bolt last year to power his house during an electrical outage. Kelly said GM does not encourage that because the Bolt was not designed to do that. Still, Shrock is a fan of the vehicle.
“The problem is a minor problem. In life, it’s an incredibly minor risk,” Shrock said. “So if I don’t get a new battery for three years, that’s an 11-year warranty for me when I do get it. I am very happy with the car.”