This could really mess with someone’s range anxiety.
Pure-electric vehicles still have some growing pains as evident by woes affecting some early Chevy Bolt models. GM is notifying “fewer than a couple hundred customers” of a potential battery failure, according to Kevin Kelly, senior manager for advanced technology communications at GM, who spoke with Plugincars.com. The failure could cause the range indicator to display incorrect mileage, possibly leaving owners stranded.
Brad Berman, the founder of the site, had this happen to his Bolt earlier this month with just 1,700 miles on the odometer. As he was driving, his range indicator dropped from about 100 miles to nine, and the Bolt came to a complete stop in the middle of the road. He wrote:
“After a few seconds of a warning chime, the steering wheel shuddered, and the vehicle quickly came to a complete stop in the middle of the road. When I looked down at the dashboard, the indicated remaining range had abruptly changed to nine miles.”
Often when an EV’s range gets low, it will enter a limp mode that reduces power to allow the driver to get off the road before fully depleting the battery. That’s not what happened with Berman’s Bolt, though:
“The car could be powered up but not shifted into Drive or Reverse. After multiple failed attempts to shift into Drive after restarting the car, I shifted into Neutral and rolled down a slight incline to reposition the car more safely on the side of the road.”
The automaker said the problem only affects a small number of early production models. To rectify the problem, GM will replace the battery pack, even if there is an issue with on cell.
GM said less than one percent of the more than 10,000 Bolts sold to date were facing the problem, according to Automotive News. After a slow spread across the nation, Bolt sales numbers may climb now that the Bolt sales are rolling out nationwide this month.