Chevy’s Not Taking Any Probabilities With Bolt Battery Packs

Some latest posts on Reddit give us some information which may look unhealthy on the floor however actually present us one thing good. It seems that GM’s battery software program errs far on the aspect of warning for Bolts and Bolt EUVs after the fireplace recall.

As you’ll be able to see within the picture above, there’s a warning on the show of this 2023 Bolt EUV. Worse, the automobile was sitting when the entire thing began. “It was simply parked within the storage, not charging, and hastily we hear the automobile alarm go off. We will’t get the automobile alarm to show off and once I went within the automobile, I noticed this message. GM is sending a tow truck…,” the unique poster mentioned.

Given the historical past of Bolt and Bolt EUV automobiles, this “battery hazard” message, accompanied by an alarm that may’t be turned off, sounds completely scary. In any case, since 2020, GM has been pressured to restore each single copy of the automobile, and with an entire battery pack substitute. There have been only a few precise battery fires, however they ultimately discovered that defects in LG Chem battery cells GM used had been so widespread that restore and monitoring for defects to indicate indicators of bother wasn’t an possibility. So, all packs needed to be utterly changed with new cells.

Even one of the best manufacturing traces nonetheless spit out a couple of defects, although. The brand new Bolt battery packs haven’t had any widespread issues, nevertheless it’s not protected to imagine that the improved cells will all the time be excellent. So, it’s informative to study in regards to the first defective battery we all know of post-recall.

After getting towed to the vendor, service personnel disconnected the 12-volt battery. The native technician seemed on the battery and decided {that a} new pack was probably wanted, however then one thing extra uncommon occurred. A GM engineer got here out to the dealership and gave the pack a re-examination, recommending a pack substitute.

As for the driving force, GM is taking superb care of them as effectively. Whereas the automobile is unavailable, GM set the driving force up with a rental automobile at some stage in the restore course of whereas additionally providing to pay for any gasoline wanted to maintain the rental driving. The gasoline must be bought and reimbursed, however that’s greater than many producers have achieved for individuals needing a restore prior to now. So, GM appears to get that EV drivers don’t like paying for gasoline!

Some Takeaways

Whereas we’d all like for EVs to be excellent, they’re like all vehicles on the street. Irrespective of how a lot thought goes into them, defects that current some critical hazard to their house owners, their property, and the general public at giant typically get by means of. Hearth recollects are pretty frequent in ICE automobiles, and EVs are about 20 occasions much less prone to catch fireplace.

I don’t find out about you, however I’d definitely assume that ICE automobile house owners (I personal each an EV and an ICE automobile) wish to have a useful dandy warning alarm come up if there was a hazard of fireside. However, the truth that burning is a traditional a part of ICE operation and that flammable liquids and gases are regular makes it lots harder to identify an issue earlier than it’s too late. Certain, regular upkeep can maintain a stable ICE design from ever catching fireplace, however defects that pop up don’t announce themselves to the ECU with the intention to get an opportunity to evacuate.

Like all automobile designs, this message that GM’s EVs may give us when there’s hazard of fireside got here from expertise. Because the outdated saying goes, “Logic comes from expertise, which comes from unhealthy judgment.” GM’s expertise with an costly and terrible fireplace recall was not solely unhealthy press, however price the corporate some critical money. So, you’ll be able to wager that such an expertise is one thing they’re very dedicated to not repeating sooner or later.

As a part of that previous recall, the corporate first tried to keep away from changing all batteries by creating a battery monitoring program. Without having so as to add any new {hardware}, they discovered a manner for the battery administration system and the automobile’s laptop to work collectively to look at for uncommon voltages and maybe different electrical readings (resistance, and so on.). If issues get too far exterior of regular limits, the automobile units off an alarm and warns individuals to avoid it till somebody can test it out and ensure every thing is OK or restore it if it’s not.

So, it’s fairly clear that GM automobiles are going to be lots safer sooner or later, as will different EVs as these design strategies get on the market. As a substitute of auto fires being a seemingly random and unavoidable catastrophe, EVs are capable of be extra resilient, and fail gracefully as a substitute of failing catastrophically. Not all points could be detected on this manner, however we’re about to go from a world the place EVs have 20 occasions fewer fires to 1 the place they’re much more uncommon.

For GM’s EVs, we’re additionally probably seeing some excellent news in {that a} GM engineer got here to the vendor to examine issues out. This isn’t an exceptional factor to occur, however when it does, it’s virtually by no means for one thing routine or well-known. So, there aren’t a bunch of Bolts on the market tripping off a battery warning within the software program. It’s uncommon sufficient at this level, even after the substitute packs have been out for some time, that it’s price escalating to the next knowledgeable stage.

On the similar time, I might be improper about all this. This alarm might be among the many first of a wider downside that might once more need to be recalled like the primary one. Nevertheless, the rarity of the issue and the early warning system vastly reduces the probabilities that we’d see one thing as newsworthy as the primary recall. So, even when I’m utterly improper in my optimism right here, it’s nonetheless prone to be lots much less painful for house owners.

I’ve reached out to GM to see if they’ve any additional details about this incident, and I’ll you’ll want to share what they inform me in one other article or in an replace right here.

Featured picture: an image of the “battery hazard” warning. Used with permission from the automobile’s proprietor.


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