Electric Cars

Your Chevrolet Bolt may have a battery problem

A fault in a single battery cell may cause a false range reading.

2017-chevy-bolt-range-drive26026.jpg

You may have less juice than you think.

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

If you own a Chevrolet Bolt, you may be in for a sudden awakening. GM has notified a few hundred owners of the all-electric car that it may have a faulty battery that would cause a false range reading. 

PluginCars.com reports that early versions of the Bolt can experience a battery failure that completely disables the car. The media outlet confirmed the problem with a GM spokesman.

Chevrolet says the problem may be limited to just a single cell going bad in the battery pack. The solution is to replace the entire battery pack.

Chevrolet began sales of the Bolt model in December of last year. The fully electric Bolt boasts a range of 236 miles, making it second only to Tesla's models in range. Electric cars comprise only a small sliver of current automotive sales in the US, but the market is likely to grow significantly as more people experience how they work. Problems, such as the Bolt's battery failure, could have an outsize impact on electric car adoption.

In an interview with Roadshow, Chris Bonelli, communications coordinator for advanced technology communications at GM, said that less than 1 percent of Bolt customers have experienced this problem so far, but that the company plans to notify any customers who may potentially have a bad battery pack.

"We can use data from OnStar to identify which packs are likely to have the problem and reach out to them before they experience a loss of propulsion. These are early production Bolts. Not all Bolt owners will experience this issue."

The Bolt has been selling well since it became available in December of last year, and will roll out to more dealers nationwide this September. Korean electronics company LG, which supplies electric drive components for the Bolt, recently said it would build a factory in Michigan to bolster production. 

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