GM On Track To Install Replacement Chevy Bolt Battery Packs — But Don’t Expect Many Buybacks: News

Dealers should start installing replacement battery packs later this month

The Chevy Bolt recall has been a costly endeavor — but at least customers will now start to see replacement packs installed in their cars. (Images: General Motors)

New battery packs will start making their way into Chevy Bolt EVs and EUVs later this month.

So far, the scale of GM’s battery pack recall for every Chevy Bolt made to-date nears $2 billion. The decision to replace every single module — as the original units could be at risk to catch fire — involves some 110,000 vehicles sold in the U.S. market since 2017. Working with its battery partner LG Chem, General Motors reaffirmed it is on track to install new modules in affected Bolts later this month. But what about a manufacturer buyback?

Per an InsideEVs report last week, some dealers mused whether a recall of this proportion would warrant an actual buyback campaign. “[GM is] already going to pay half the value of the car with a new battery. Buybacks will be way cheaper for them,” one anonymous dealer said. Fair point though that may be, GM for its part said wide-reaching efforts to get cars back from consumers is not going to happen.

GM told Car and Driver, “We haven’t changed our plan, which is to replace all battery modules in the 2017-2019 model year vehicle population and replace defective modules in the 2020-2022 model years. We continue to consider buyback requests on a case-by-case basis” (emphasis added). Despite what you might think, analysts contend Chevy Bolt models will only lose a marginal amount of their value after recall repairs are complete, meaning owners will still see about the same residual value they’d expect, even with all the recent press.

Replacement modules will reportedly go to certain Chevy Bolt owners first. More specifically, they will go to owners “whose batteries were manufactured during specific build time frames where GM believes battery defects appear to be clustered.”

To owners: What to do while awaiting a recall repair

Later this year, GM should also release new software to detect abnormalities among the original battery modules. If you missed the earlier reports, the automaker suggests not parking inside structures or too close to other vehicles. Don’t charge your vehicle overnight or above 90% state-of-charge to reduce the potential risk of a fire.

More on that update below: