Chevrolet Bolt EV Gets Software Update to Address Battery-Fire Problem

uaw local 5960 member kimberly fuhr inspects a chevrolet bolt ev during vehicle production on thursday, may 6, 2021, at the general motors orion assembly plant in orion township, michigan photo by steve fecht for chevrolet

General Motors has announced that it will roll out a software update for owners of the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV over the next 30 days. This update is intended for vehicles that haven’t yet had their batteries replaced under the ongoing Bolt battery recall, GM said. Owners of Bolt EV and EUV vehicles from 2017–2018 and 2020 or later model years will also get the software update sometime in the next 30 days as well.

After the software update, those vehicles can again be parked and charged indoors, such as in a garage, and will be able to be driven until range is less than 70 miles—all things that owners had been cautioned not to do under the ongoing recall. This will become possible because the update will limit the battery’s state of charge to 80 percent. The update will also run diagnostics “designed to detect specific abnormalities that might indicate a rare battery issue,” GM said.

GM’s statement said that full battery replacements will continue. This software update is a measure taken “while we work on building replacement battery modules,” the company said. In late July, the company issued a statement saying battery shipments were “on hold” and reiterated in September in a customer letter filed with NHTSA that parts were not available.

Owners of 2019 Bolt vehicles who have not yet had a full battery replacement should contact their dealers, GM said. They or others who want more information can visit www.chevy.com/boltevrecall or the NHTSA recall website.

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