Chevy rolls out software update on other Bolt model years to lift recall restrictions

Kalea Hall
The Detroit News

Chevrolet is rolling out software for 2017-18 recalled Bolt EVs to undo charging and parking restrictions customers have been told to follow for months, the General Motors Co. brand said Wednesday. 

GM in August recalled all Bolt EVs and the new, larger Bolt EUVs — more than 141,000 from model years 2017-2022 — for battery fire risk. GM has so far confirmed 18 fires globally on the Bolts as the result of rare manufacturing defects in the batteries. Only minor injuries including smoke inhalation have been reported. GM's battery supplier LG Electronics is paying $1.9 billion of the $2 billion estimated cost of the recall, essentially admitting fault for the defects that are said to be the root cause of the fires. 

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Bolt customers have been advised for months to adhere to specific charging and parking guidelines until they receive the software update or new battery modules, which GM started shipping out in October. 

The new software limits the Bolt's maximum state of charge to 80%, which allows customers to resume charging indoors overnight, using the car with less than 70 miles of range, and parking indoors after charging. The software is said to detect battery abnormalities. 

Bolt owners can reach out to their dealers directly to get the software update. 

The update was first rolled out on 2019 model year Bolts in November. Chevrolet spokesman Kevin Kelly said the brand expects "to have it available for all Bolt EV/EUV owners within the next two weeks."

Customers should only charge to 100% after they receive new battery modules.