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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We bought our Chevy Bolt Premier in June 2017. Never had a problem until last Tuesday evening. When my partner was driving home from work, all of a sudden the mileage gauge dropped from 190 to 0. The car totally died. He was able to finesse it across four lanes of traffic. Tow truck came and brought the car to the dealership. Dealership told him the next day that the situation was “horrible”. It’s more than a totally dead battery as there were other electrical issues that came up. And, for some odd reason, they could not get the car to shut off after they disconnected items as they were attempting to troubleshoot the issues. He was given a loaner and a strong suggestion to check our state’s lemon laws. The dealership is reaching out to GM for advice on what could happen so suddenly and so catastrophically. He made an off hand comment that the repair could be over $25,000 and of course it was under warranty. Comforting!

Any other owner’s experience anything like this?
 

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Any other owner’s experience anything like this?

Yes. Read the forum here - there are several threads on this.

It is probably a failed cell in the battery, which dropped below accepted voltage.

The other thing it COULD be is a bad 12V battery, but that shouldn't have happened in the middle of a drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
We had gone out of town over the weekend. The hotel had a ChargePoint charging station. I thought it was odd that it showed the vehicle totally charged in less than two hours (17.74kw) when the battery was about 50%. Perhaps, the first sign of the impending doom.
 

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One of the updates our dealer installed last Friday was a battery monitoring update that they say will give the car, Onstar, and us warning if this kind of problem might occur. Solution from what I heard is a replacement battery. I feel Chevy is trying hard, but it’s part of new technology. Glad everyone was safe.
 

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Odd that the dealer was suggesting Lemon Law when they just saw the car. Was it perhaps the Service Adviser and not the Bolt technician who gave you the grave report? A lot can be lost in translation. Also, why would they mention the cost to repair ($25k) when it's all under warranty?

This wasn't the dealer you purchased your Bolt from, was it? I'm assuming it was the nearest dealer to where you broke down. Could be this dealer is does not have much experience with the Bolt despite being certified to sell/service one. I'd ask for more details like a copy of the work order they submitted to GM. As others have stated, there is a service bulletin to update battery monitoring software in our Bolts so that we have warning before failure. FYI, I think the Bolt defaults to permanent OFF as a safety precaution when one of the individual cells that make up our Bolt battery goes awry. Granted, it's not an acceptable solution IMO to lose propulsion as a safety measure.

Good luck with the repairs, OP.
 
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The response from your dealer sounds hyperbolic. I would speculate that one or more persons involved didn't really know what they were doing or what they were talking about as well as they should.

First of all, it sounds like the Bolt has some software and/or hardware that makes it prone to "fail awkward" rather than "fail graceful." What has been widely reported is that certain Bolts can go from a long range on the GOM to zero immediately. There is a firmware recall on 2017 Bolts that is supposed to more gracefully warn you of failure. Did you have that recall? This is a real annoyance as no one wants to get stranded.

*But*

The Bolt has an electric drivetrain warranty of 8 years and 100,000 miles. If you look at youtube there are a few Bolt drivers that have burned through half of that mileage, but most are no where near it. So nobody is buying battery repairs on their own nickel yet.

In order to simplify things for themselves and their dealers GM, probably has a policy whereby they have the local dealer swap out the whole battery and/or electric transaxle in the event of a problem -- rather than have the local inexperienced tech disassemble the battery pack and fix the specific interior problem. This strategy is going to look "expensive" parts wise *but* AFAIK no one has an out of warranty Bolt. So as far as your dear is concerned and for you the processes is simplified-they just replace everything. The failed battery and other components are probably sent back to a central depot. Their exact failures are diagnosed, recorded for engineering data, and then the parts are re-manufactured, and they are probably used to repair other Bolts.

Why is your dealer bothered by this? My best guess is that he has no experience with the Bolt and is frightened that GM isn't going to pay him enough money to cover the time his inexperienced technicians spend swapping the parts. However, if you research on youtube - a Bolt battery pack replacement is simple enough that it should only take 2 hours or less. Even if they have to replace the transaxle - this is not very difficult on the Bolt.

Regarding lemon law, this varies from state to state. It can be invoked in Michigan for: 1)If the dealer fails a warranty repair 4 times for the same problem OR 2) if within the first year the car is out of service for more than 30 days for any reason covered under warranty (doesn't have to be the same reason). Maybe this is possible with such an extensive repair if batteries are on backorder? So in Michigan, *if you were so inclined* after day 30 rolls around you can get a lawyer (you need a lawyer - but the manufacturer will reimburse your lawyer) and demand a full refund or replacement. I have done this for crappy VW New Beatle then spent its first year with a misfire and a CEL. As soon as I got a lawyer - full refund check. Your state may or may not be as generous. *But* this avenue seems like way jumping the gun. Most likely what will happen is that your dealer will call GM for service advice and GM will tell your dealer to keep his mouth shut and your car will be fully repaired.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
This was the very dealer from whom we bought the car. And, it was the Service Technician Manager who told us this. He told us replacing the battery is very difficult. Probably no one at the dealership has experience with the Bolt. Keeping fingers crossed that it will all work out.
 

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Actually, replacing a battery in the Bolt is quite easy. Usually less than 4 hours. Far less time than changing a motor in a regular ICE car! Look at the Weber University video on you tube.
While it is somewhat disheartening to hear, you should take some comfort in knowing that overall given the technology, GM is very proactive in resolution of issues on the Bolt. Given the number of cars on the road now, very few Bolts have major issues as evidenced by this forum. Far, far less than any Tesla. When an issue does come up, it is usually quickly resolved.
Don't worry...they will have your Bolt up and running again in no time.
 

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This was the very dealer from whom we bought the car. And, it was the Service Technician Manager who told us this. He told us replacing the battery is very difficult. Probably no one at the dealership has experience with the Bolt. Keeping fingers crossed that it will all work out.
Looks like they will now have a platform on which to learn...:eek:.
 
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Looks like your one of the unlucky early build date Bolt owners with a shorted battery cell. How many miles did it have when it did the nose dive on you? And thanks for teling us about that recharge indication anomoly your Bolt experienced just before the propulsion battery croaked.
Should the full battery death you experienced occur at highway speed------- What emergency actions other then immediarely turning on the Bolt's emergency lights flashers do you recommend?
Hack the 30 day clock for the lemon law.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
GM called today. They are forwarding the request to buy us out to management. A decision is expected by week's end. I also checked with the dealership; they do not have a Bolt Certified Technician. The dealership iterated that they felt we'd be getting an offer for a replacement vehicle. So little confidence.
 

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Disappointing to hear of the OP's experience with another example of a complete shutdown on the open road. At least he had the skill/presence to get it to the side of the road; others have been stranded in the lanes of traffic. I purchased my Bolt about one month after the OP and have watched the threads on the shutdown problem with growing alarm.

OP, did you get the recall notice about a month ago on a software update for this sort of problem?

Did you get the recall software update done on your car?

(I'm not asking to blame you -- heck, I did get the recall notice, have read the similar threads here and am still blissfully tooling around at 7500 miles -- not having done the recall yet!!)
 

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GM called today. They are forwarding the request to buy us out to management. A decision is expected by week's end. I also checked with the dealership; they do not have a Bolt Certified Technician. The dealership iterated that they felt we'd be getting an offer for a replacement vehicle. So little confidence.
Wow, guess your service provider knew their stuff (the severity of the repair). Shame you have to have it bought out. I don't know if this experienced has soured you on the Bolt, but I'd at least have hope GM may offer you a brand new replacement Bolt Premier. Maybe even fully loaded.
 

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That's a huge bummer, sorry to hear that the problem couldn't be rectified. Wonder why they would bother attempting to repair the vehicle at a dealership that doesn't have significant knowledge of Bolt's electrical system. You have any ideas on what they are going to offer you as a replacement?
 

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I'm thinking that GM is going to make your day and make this problem go away. They're going to make you a great offer and get you a new car or new battery. Battery replacement as shown in the Weber State video(s) isn't trivial but it isn't that difficult if they (dealership) have all equipment; and honestly I'd be completely satisfied with a battery replacement if I was in your situation. We're all pulling for you!
 

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Not good at all. Sorry you and your partner are in this situation. Please keep us updated on what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Here's the update. GM requested that we let them replace the battery. We agreed. The battery was replaced and my partner picked up the car this morning. He drove 4 miles and a warning came on High Voltage System Needs Service. He calls OnStar and they tell him it's not an urgent repair. However, he wisely returns to the dealership. The dealership thinks there is "an air bubble" in the coolant line. 10 minutes later they bring the car back and say everything is all set. He drives home. This evening, we went out to dinner. Drove 5 miles. Get back in the car, start it, and, lo and behold, the same warning High Voltage System Needs Service. Back to the dealership in the morning. So frustrating.
 
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