The biggest challenge to making electric vehicles today is constructing battery packs. The battery packs are some of the most expensive components inside the vehicle and are the most critical components. Unfortunately, battery packs are also one of the most dangerous components in an electric vehicle because impurities in the batteries can lead to short circuits and fire risk.
In an accident, an electric vehicle also poses different threats than a traditional car to first responders, including an increased fire risk if the battery packs are punctured. Chevy has an electric vehicle called the Bolt, and back in May, it released a software update trying to mitigate potential fire risk for owners of the vehicle. GM has now announced that it will replace the battery modules in some Bolt EV batteries in the coming weeks.
The battery replacement program for some of the electric vehicles comes after more than a dozen battery-related fires have occurred in the Bolt. Unfortunately for GM, the software update, intended to warn users if the battery packs were damaged and posed an increased fire risk, did not perform as intended. There were additional fires after the updated software was released.
GM has begun informing some Bolt owners that starting on August 23, they can book appointments to have all of the battery modules in the vehicle replaced. The replacement modules include an eight-year 100,000-mile warranty. However, GM is giving preferred priority for replacements to some owners.
Specifically, owners of Bolt electric vehicles produced in a timeframe that GM believes are likely to have defects will get priority. Those who frequently do deep discharges, proven by OnStar telemetry data, will also get first crack. Apparently, the most likely model of Bolt EV to have the problem are 2019 model year cars.