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Would you buy a new Bolt?

  • Yes

    Votes: 67 61.5%
  • No

    Votes: 24 22.0%
  • Maybe, if they commit to replacing all bad batteries in current vehicles, then I'd have some faith

    Votes: 18 16.5%
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2021 chevy bolt premier ev
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Or is the name tarnished beyond hope at this point.
I know GM said the mid 2020, 2021 and theoretically 2022 are not effected because batteries changed? Changed what, just the assembly? Components? Will we ever know? If they 'changed' something, does that mean they new exactly what to change to avoid issues?
So many questions, so few answers.
Batteries were built in the Korean LG LG battery facility
They were told that all future LG LG batteries were going to be built in Michigan
So far all the bolt battery fires have been Korean made LG batteries
 

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It will be another 2 years before I am in the market for a new car, so a lot can change between now and then. But if I were in the market right here, right now, I would absolutely be considering a Bolt. I sincerely hope, though, that we don't see a 2020 or 2021 go up in flames. Wouldn't that be fanning the flames?
 

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Yes, I would buy a new Bolt. It's a fantastic car and I don't think other car companies would handle this situation any differently than GM has. I knew that battery fires were a possibility when I bought an EV, especially one from a new manufacturer, and if you thought GM would give everybody a new battery at the first sign of trouble then you are living in a dream world. I was hoping there wouldn't be any fires but I'm not surprised. GM's response has been exactly what I would have expected, maybe even better with their buybacks. If I thought that another manufacturer would be more generous, I might buy from them, but I'm doubtful.
 

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Battery fires seem inevitable for any battery-powered device. It really is alarming that so many 2019s are affected, but I don't really think too much of these fires in the long term. I'm sure GM will fix it... now whether they'll treat their 2019 customers well or not is another issue altogether!

How about Tesla Model S? I saw it listed on a website as being in the top 20 vehicles (#20) likely to catch fire... and how many Tesla Model S fires have there been in recent years?

I think in a few years, we won't even pay any thought to Bolt battery fires.
 

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2019 bolt Lt
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I thought waiting for a few years for the models proof of reliability a good idea ,that didn't workout this time.For now I'll keep this bolt with extra cautions for charging ( outside, lowered amperage).If GM comes through with a reliable fix (battery replacement) I'd be more likely to buy another GM ev.
 

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2020 Bolt EV Premier
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75 Posts
One thing that’s overlooked in a lot of the panic is the question of “Why did GM move the battery manufacturing from South Korea to the US in the first place?”

Because it’s likely that it’s more expensive to manufacture them in the US than in South Korea, so it wasn’t for financial reasons. In fact, moving all the tooling, training new employees, and so on, must have been quite expensive.

That means it‘s likely for functional reasons, such as greater reliability and/or reducing the risk of problems. They very likely knew something was not right about the packs being produced in SK — enough to move the entire battery production to the US.

While this sucks for those who bought in early, it also gives me confidence that they recognized a problem with the earlier packs and acted to fix it, long before the fires became an issue (i.e. around early 2019).


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Well, having worked for a long career at major OEM in the Midwest in the Supply Chain space, there could be other reasons for the relocation of the manufacturing location. First, the supply chain from South Korea isn't insignificant. Take all the port strikes from the last one in LA/Long Beach and you know you're constrained on getting the major component from LG's factory in Korea to the Bolt assembly plant in the US. Second, we'd often ask our suppliers to relocate closer to our facilities so we wouldn't have such expenses of logistics to ship a major component all over the world. Think of the size of the battery pack and what it costs to ship a container of those. It's not just the labor cost to build a pack but the total cost to include freight in of materials. Next, GM may have been asking LG to put a plant up in the US to reduce supply chain risk as I mentioned or to add increased capacity of battery production to the total network. (Remember all these mandates to get rid of ICE cars, like CA can't sell new ICE cars after 2035?) If LG was a supplier to Hyundai (and they were) in Korea, GM may have seen the writing a few years earlier and started those discussions with LG to put the plant up in Michigan. (I know how this works since I had European suppliers that I told their business would be at risk if we didn't have production closer like in our state of a key component). 4. Note that the US made packs are a different total capacity. 5. Having packs manufactured in the US may have allowed for closer just in time inventory. No one likes a Recall but if there are all closer and serialized (which they were), it is easier to limit the number of vehicles affected in a recall to a smaller number---which everyone likes. 6. More US content in the vehicle is important. Since the value add of the components was being done in Michigan for the relocated packs, Chevy might be able to get the foreign content down. Remember, there are enough outside forces on OEMs to have more content of US parts. Thus, LG's plant in the US was good for more US content. (Ever see the sticker on your vehicle for the amount of foreign content?--I tossed the sticker on my 2018 Bolt but my 2020 Bolt says US Canadian content = 24%; Korea 57%----and that's with a US made battery pack! So I assume the content of the pre 2019 US Made packs had a higher Korean content).

So I am by no means defending GM. I know exactly how these discussions happen within an OEM when a supplier's part is causing issues----and the supplier (LG) is still a supplier to GM--and they've publicly gone after LG. But many of the posts' assumption are correct---Legal and Finance will push for a certain solution, engineering will another, management will another, quality assurance another, and the supply chain guys will be trying to figure out how to get what GM specifies into the assembly plant while dealing with the recriminations back and forth. I think GM's PR campaign on this just sucks----because they don't realize that early adopters (purchasers of these 2017-2019) have a huge affect on the later adopters. GM is big and stodgy----they're messing this one up royally
 

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I did purchase a 2021 after GM completed a buyback on my 2017. I love my Bolt. That said I think GM should be more transparent with this whole process and should either replace full batteries in the 2017-2019s affected by the recall or just buyback all the vehicles without regard to state lemon laws which has resulted in unequal treatment of early adopters of the Bolt EV. GM has thrown their hat into an EV future and if they don’t get their act together on this it will leave a very tarnished image of GM electric vehicles in the years to come.
 

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Smartphone fires have been going on for a decade, how many of you are viewing this on one now? Even holding it right in your hand.
One difference is a smartphone (or smart watch) has one lithium cell. A laptop might have four to fit the space nicely. The Bolt has 288, wired together in parallel groups of three, so the Bolt can't even determine the status of any single call, only a trio of cells.
 

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One thing that’s overlooked in a lot of the panic is the question of “Why did GM move the battery manufacturing from South Korea to the US in the first place?”

Because it’s likely that it’s more expensive to manufacture them in the US than in South Korea, so it wasn’t for financial reasons. In fact, moving all the tooling, training new employees, and so on, must have been quite expensive.

That means it‘s likely for functional reasons, such as greater reliability and/or reducing the risk of problems. They very likely knew something was not right about the packs being produced in SK — enough to move the entire battery production to the US.
Or, the move was part of their strategy to use joint production facilities in the US. That would mean the decision to move production was a joint decision, not just GM. The two new Ultium plants (Lordstown and Tennessee) and two "planned" plants (location TBA) are going to be jointly operated facilities. So, the "partnership" decided it would make sense to do the work here?

Maybe GM felt they had insufficient oversight in SK? Maybe they found shipping these heavy units made the costs a wash? Maybe the plant had high turnover. Indications are the high correlation of late 18, early 19 packs being the problem. Does that mean they had better quality control early on? Did GM (and\or LG) pull QA to get MI up and running? Did someone cut corners? Did they find ways to implement more automation in MI that overcomes labor cost differences?

There are probably dozens of reasons for the move.

For whatever reason, they are quite confident in their MI cell quality. There were chemistry changes that occurred in 2020 model year, so perhaps the late 2019 Bolts had the new formula cells from the start, and derated capacity in the BMS until they had some real world experience to claim higher capacity and range in 2020 models? Maybe the old BMS with new cells limited the new cells to the 60kWh capacity and 2020 was an updated BMS? We have seen reports of 2019 owners who believe they had more than 60kWh of capacity. And we now see stated capacity of 65kWh in 2022, not likely due to cell chemistry, but a more conservative BMS. Most manufacturers don't change specs mid year, so maybe the 60kWh on late 2019 Bolts was just to keep the marketing literature consistent and less confusing to buyers?

We may never know, but there are probably a lot more reasons that may have been factored into the move than a simple financial one.
 

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I just finished my buyback but that being said, if I could buy the newer generation EUV or regular Bolt for the same price I paid, 38K out the door (well below MSRP at the time) and I could still get the full tax credit I would be 50/50. Our next car will be a Tesla Y (not my choice) because of the larger size but I think the Bolt is a good entry level electric. Chevy just needs to get its act together top to bottom from the battery to the techs.
 

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It's already been made very clear that the effected Bolts were from 2017 through mid-2019, as their battery packs were manufactured in Korea. Since mid-2019, the packs have been made in Michigan, and are not affected by the fires, the recall, nor the strongly-suspected internal cell separator failure mode.

To answer the survey question - Yes, in fact I already did...a new 2021 Premier, which I park and charge inside my garage. I have it set to only charge to 90% as a battery longevity move (that I have always done).

I sleep like a baby.
Sleep like a baby ? wake up screaming covered in s--t ? Questions on the entire battery thing , own a '20 now , was advised to cap charge @ 80% and discharge to 20% in my "12 Leaf ( perfect EV intro ) ... story around the campfire was the batteries don't get very hot 'til the last 20% is squirted into them and that the span of 20 - 80 % reduced the number charging iterations which extends life , if the milage use pattern of your driving can work with this it sounds O.K. ... in a sense this feels true , have noticed how plug end of DC fast charger is actually HOT when used to 100% on long trips so not at ease doing that any more than needed . Bothered by advisory on overnight charging , 1st when else in normal day to day drive to work /fill up @ night ... road trip , motel , charge over night ... what else ? Chevy does not say much about 80 or in their car 90% cap seating advisory other than the " hilltop " thing ...

I will be looking into thee "Lemon Law " refund issue , really like the things I really like about my '20 but not disposed to believing GMs' tales about American units being better than Korean , sounds like a stall ... best idea could be to jump , ship's goin' down and resale value goes with it ... Know of anyone looking for a Vega ? Diesel Olds ?
 

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One thing that’s overlooked in a lot of the panic is the question of “Why did GM move the battery manufacturing from South Korea to the US in the first place?”
There have been a couple of good posts to this point already on this thread, but one point was completely overlooked.

I am going to compare this to the (probably false) "GM is losing money on every Bolt sold" B.S. from several years ago. Even if true (I doubt it) on a purely parts basis (cost to design an EV was included in the estimate, ignoring that the cost was to develop a full platform, of which three cars are now extant - one sold only in China), the "hidden benefit" of each Bolt sale was ignored. (And I'm going to ignore the "it was an investment in learning for the future" aregument.)

For " revenue " produced for each Bolt sold, one should include the "clean air credit" that the sale of each Bolt created, allowing several high-profit-margin $50k gas guzzlers to be sold without having to pay a fine / offset.

When considering the moving of battery assembly to the U.S. , don't forget the "hidden benefits". Total cost has already been mentioned. Among them : shipping costs, delay due to port strikes and just plain distance, length of supply chain, etc. Also, the Trumpism "buy Ameerican" (not a typo), and import duties.

Don't forget the UNION benefit. The union was screaming about plants being shut down and were talking about strike. Instead, with the promise of a new battery assembly plant AND re-opening (or not shutting down) several GM plants that would produce either parts for EVs or final assembly of electric vehicles, a new labor contract was signed and there was no strike.

There were quite a few (good) reasons for assembly in the U.S. I very much doubt that "these Korean batteries are sh1t and will catch fire" was one of them.
 

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My smart phone lives on a shelf. I check it every few days to clear spam texts. If I was still working, it would be in my glovebox on workdays. Don Juan said a sorcerer should always have his hands empty. ;)
LOL... you kill me!!
 
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