GM has confirmed reports that some 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EVs are experiencing significant battery-related issues, which could result in the lithium-ion battery pack failing. According to a GM statement, the automaker is "aware of a small number of early Bolt EV customers who have experienced loss of propulsion. Due to a battery low-voltage condition, the car may incorrectly report remaining range at low states of charge and lose propulsion before the customer expects."
The problem was first reported by Brad Berman at Plugin and then gained wider attention through Green Car Reports. Berman reports experiencing the issue firsthand, and that rather than the usual limp mode an electric car enters when nearing the end of its battery life, his leased Bolt EV produced a few warning chimes and then came to an abrupt stop on the road. Fortunately, no one was injured and he was able to move the car off the road by shifting into Neutral.
GM's statement continued: "Of the more than 10,000 Bolt EVs sold to date, less than 1 percent have experienced this issue so far. Early production vehicles are more likely to have this issue, as we are always finding ways to improve quality throughout our supply chain.
"Through OnStar advanced diagnostics, we have identified the vehicles that could develop this condition over time and are contacting the affected customers to arrange for service."
At this time there are no details on the exact number of vehicles affected, and what exactly constitutes "early production" is unclear. Berman reported that he leased his vehicle more than six months after the Bolt EV first became available; as Green Car Reports notes, there may be a disparity between production of the vehicle and the lithium-ion battery pack at the heart of this issue.
Stay tuned in case more information becomes available.