Chevrolet was one of the first automakers to market with a long-range battery-electric vehicle, the Bolt EV. Unfortunately for the US automaker, it’s also now the first to have to issue a massive recall after manufacturing defects with the car’s lithium-ion battery cells were identified as the cause of a number of fires.
Chevrolet’s first fix was a software remedy, started in November 2020, before faulty manufacturing was recognized as the true culprit. Now the plan is relatively simple, if expensive: replace every Bolt EV’s battery pack with a new one, at a cost of more than $1.8 billion.
Those replacements have now begun, with Chevrolet contacting owners to let them know what’s going to happen.
The first Bolt EVs to get new packs are those built “during specific build timeframes” where Chevrolet says it believes the defects were clustered. The replacement process takes “approximately two days” to complete at a dealership, and the new packs are covered by an eight-year or 100,000 mile warranty.
Additionally, Chevrolet says it’s rolling out new diagnostic software in November for all Bolt EVs and EUVs. This will monitor the BEVs’ cells for abnormalities that could indicate a defect and will help the company prioritize the cars that need to have their packs replaced sooner.
Listing image by Jonathan Gitlin