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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I currently own a Toyota Prius Prime that because of used car prices is worth a lot more than I owe. After owning a PHEV for a bit I’m ready to make the jump to a full EV. Ive seen prices fall for used Bolts, especially the 17-18 model years and test drove one the other day.
I park and charge outside at all times recall or not, and the promise of a new battery seems like a great opportunity to get in at a low price.
Am I crazy for considering buying a recalled Bolt now? I know there’s other EV options out there but I do like the Bolt and it’s significantly cheaper than other options. Appreciate any feedback
 

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If you can live with the limitations and can find a place that will sell it too you, it is a great time. Get it cheap with a defective battery, then get a free upgraded battery and removable of use restrictions after they figure out how to make a battery that doesn't spontaneously combust.

Keith
 

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I bought my 2017 used in early March. The situation then was the temporary software with 95% charge limit, with the promise of the eventual "final" software update to restore 100% charge capability. My evaluation was that 90-95% of the capacity would meet my needs, the "final" software update was on the way, and there was a small chance that things would go south and I'd eventually end up with a new battery.

Fast forward half a year, and I think it's safe to say things have gone south, and with news of each new fire I hope to continue to see "no injuries". At this point, I will get a new battery eventually, if GM can regain confidence in LG Chem's manufacturing process. If I do end up with said new battery, full confidence that the fire issue is addressed, and a refreshed battery warranty, then I made out really well with my purchase.

At this point it's really uncertain (at least to the public) how likely it is that LG Chem's issue(s) will be resolved in a timely fashion and allow for production of the replacement batteries to start. I think there is a possibility that they won't be able to satisfy GM that they can produce cells without these issues. And I think, if that turns out to be the case, that GM would be forced into some kind of mass buyback program (à la Dieselgate). But it's impossible to know how likely that is.

So I guess you have to evaluate based on your own risk tolerance and the slim amount of information available. Personally, while I was willing to take the risks as I knew them in March, I don't think I'd buy a Bolt today. The uncertainty and lack of faith in LG Chem is just too high for me.
 

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Trading cars right now doesn't seem like an advantage. Bolt prices were much lower back in February, like 30% lower. Right now they are near peak prices, just like most used vehicles. I'd go with the vehicle that most suits your needs.

Personally, I really appreciate the utility of the Prius (though I have no experience with 4th gen ones). If the Bolt is less than the value of your Prius, sounds like it might be the better financial move.
 

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One thing for sure, after the battery recall is fixed all bolts will increase in value especially with a new 8 year/100, OOO mile warranty regardless if it is new or used
 

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"Buy when there's blood in the streets, even if the blood is your own."
IMO, it's a great time to buy a 17. My insurance company doesn't seem to think mine is any particular hazard. If it was, it wouldn't be dirt cheap to insure.
 

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I enjoy my 2019 Bolt (highest risk category AFAIK) and have no problem living with a 1/5000 chance it will burn. I also have always parked outside, so my use of the car hasn't really been affected by the fire news. When shopping, remember that not all Bolts are built with DC Fast Charge capability, and it can't be added after the fact. So be sure to verify whether the car you're looking at includes DCFC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Trading cars right now doesn't seem like an advantage. Bolt prices were much lower back in February, like 30% lower. Right now they are near peak prices, just like most used vehicles. I'd go with the vehicle that most suits your needs.

Personally, I really appreciate the utility of the Prius (though I have no experience with 4th gen ones). If the Bolt is less than the value of your Prius, sounds like it might be the better financial move.
Thanks for responding. I do like the Prius prime and thought the PHEV was it for me because it’s my only vehicle and I had range anxiety. Now I find myself more irritated that the EV range is so low and the car feels clunky running as an ICE as I’ve become accustomed to electric.
Some context I should’ve added in original post. With about 2k in equity on the Prius, I’d be looking at an out the door price of around $18k for a ‘17 Bolt LT with DC Charging and the two upgrade packages (safety stuff and interior). Part of the way I approached is that my Prius is leased and the remaining payments on the lease would knock the Bolt balance well under 10k after 3 years where the Prius would then just be arriving at its residual buyout price. Appreciate the tip to look back at price trends though
 

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It's a really good "bet". You get that 17' at a great price due to the recall- practice safe charging- and then get a new battery and warranty for 100K miles. What a deal!
 

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I did exactly this! I just bought my '17 because of the recall, with promise of a new battery. Now I follow the charging guidance and wait for my upgrade. The range for me is spectacular, coming from a '13 Leaf.
 

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I bought my 2019 Bolt for the same reasons you bring up. I charge it outside and am waiting on a battery replacement. The biggest risk is GM deciding they can’t fix them and offer a buyback below what we paid. Good luck. They will almost be like new when we get our batteries.
 

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Wait another month. The price of the remaining 17 Bolts is sure to decline.
Difficult to predict these things. Back in February I was holding out for prices to further decline given the uncertainty and delay of the recall, but instead prices shot through the roof as inventory dried up. I was hoping for price to drop another 2 grand before I bought in, but instead they rose 5.

At this point I doubt prices will fall to their lowest until at least January.
 

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Difficult to predict these things. Back in February I was holding out for prices to further decline given the uncertainty and delay of the recall, but instead prices shot through the roof as inventory dried up. I was hoping for price to drop another 2 grand before I bought in, but instead they rose 5.

At this point I doubt prices will fall to their lowest until at least January.
Yes, difficult to predict these things because the used market is in relatively uncharted territory and GM could make an announcement at any time that could affect value one way or the other. I think assuming a 2017 Bolt will receive an all new battery at any point in the next two years is a risky assumption. I am a 2017 owner that is hoping for a full battery replacement, versus any other potential outcome, just FYI.
 

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The 2017 models still look pretty low risk. I'd say go for it if you really absolutely want a Bolt. The 2019 models look more worrying, though it's still pretty low risk.

Source:

Although Sean Graham (Telek?) doesn't seem to be updating this list. It's said that he's on vacation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Difficult to predict these things. Back in February I was holding out for prices to further decline given the uncertainty and delay of the recall, but instead prices shot through the roof as inventory dried up. I was hoping for price to drop another 2 grand before I bought in, but instead they rose 5.

At this point I doubt prices will fall to their lowest until at least January.
I’ve been thinking similarly especially with GM stopping sales of any Bolt at dealers. The bet is inventory sits at other dealers, but online sellers like carvana seem to burn through inventory any time they get a bolt.

For comparison of the risk I’m holding bolt against a new ID.4 which with a full tax credit is in the ballpark of $32.5k. So a $14-15k delta between a used bolt with (hopefully) a new battery that makes it an almost new car. These models aren’t totally comparable of course with VW being bigger and better DC charge speed. But $15k is a lot of money
 

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So I guess you have to evaluate based on your own risk tolerance and the slim amount of information available. Personally, while I was willing to take the risks as I knew them in March, I don't think I'd buy a Bolt today. The uncertainty and lack of faith in LG Chem is just too high for me.
Same here. I agreed to a price for a CPO '17 back in January, and waited until the stop sale ended to take delivery. I fully understood that the battery issue could go south, just the way it has. At the time, I agreed to a price that reflected my substantial risk. I had previous experiences with fire-prone vehicles and associated recalls, so I knew what I was getting into. I'm still happy with my purchase. I'll eventually have an electric car with a battery warranty through ~150,000 miles, with every option, for less than 20 grand OTD. They even gave us zero percent financing at the time.

Now, in Sept. '21, with prices much higher due to the chip shortage, I'm not so sure that I would do the same. The value simply isn't there, like it was during the first stop sale. There is no other suitable competitor to a used Bolt right now, when considering price, range, battery degradation, etc. I would direct people to buy a hybrid, and wait it out until better options emerge and/or GM gets their act together.
 

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Difficult to predict these things. Back in February I was holding out for prices to further decline given the uncertainty and delay of the recall, but instead prices shot through the roof as inventory dried up. I was hoping for price to drop another 2 grand before I bought in, but instead they rose 5.

At this point I doubt prices will fall to their lowest until at least January.
Waiting for your ideal price point on a Bolt is akin to buying a stock at the ideal price with one big exception - the utility of the item purchased.

Case in point: My purchase of a 2013 Model S in July 2017. It had just come off a three year lease and had only 33,000 miles on it. It was equipped with an 85KW battery pack, ultra high fidelity sound and some other extras that I came to appreciate the more I owned the car. The only problem was that my original plan was to wait until 2020 to make the purchase because it made better financial sense.

I made the early purchase anyway with the following results.

1. I let several friends over the next few years drive my car and watched them follow my lead into the used Tesla market. Their cars got progressively cheaper and cheaper until in May 2021 the most recent friend got his 2016 Model S for almost $20,000 cheaper than I had paid. Six months later, the used inventory is back at prices I paid in 2017.

2. If I had waited I could have had a newer, less expensive EV just as COVID shut the country down. In the meantime I had taken a half dozen road trips to Northern California to visit family and friends, another half dozen trips to film festivals in Lone Pine CA and Southern Utah. Not to mention the pleasure of driving an EV for the last several years. In short, on a cost-per-use basis I came out way ahead by making my purchase when I did.

3. Because I made the leap in 2017, we had the confidence to purchase my wife's 2017 Bolt eight months later. We have been an all-EV household ever since.

To address the OP's question, if his need for a vehicle involves a round trip daily commute of 150+ miles I would be hesitant to make the purchase simply because he will be taxing the battery pack with lots of charging on a daily basis. If his transportation needs are more moderate, requiring charging once or twice a week, he should jump at the chance to get his hands on a Bolt while the value is somewhat depressed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
To address the OP's question, if his need for a vehicle involves a round trip daily commute of 150+ miles I would be hesitant to make the purchase simply because he will be taxing the battery pack with lots of charging on a daily basis. If his transportation needs are more moderate, requiring charging once or twice a week, he should jump at the chance to get his hands on a Bolt while the value is somewhat depressed.
Thanks for the thoughts. I live in Baltimore, MD and commute by rail. I still drive about 12k miles per year but with lifestyle and how compact the northeast and mid-Atlantic is I would ballpark my number of 100+ mile one way trips at only around 25-50 per year if that. Most driving is well under 100 miles round trip, but beyond the 30ish mile range I get with a Prius prime. Having larger capacity will also allow me to utilize what’s a pretty decent free public charging network in Maryland (compared to my former home in Florida)
 
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