Chevy Bolt Has Alleged Meltdown, Drives Itself Into Garage With No Driver

Crash / 13 Comments

Is this the fault of the owner or Chevrolet?

A peculiar case with an eery aura has developed around Chevrolet's newest electric car that, if proven to be something other than owner error, makes it appear that the Bolt has a mind of its own. According to a blog post to forum, a Southern California Bolt owner experienced an incident where his car started itself, shifted into reverse, and rammed itself into the wall of his garage, knocking over a workbench in the process. At the time of the incident, the owner was out of town.

Both car keys were inside the house at the time while the owner insists that his wife had her own car to drive and was completely uninterested in the Bolt. One important fact surrounding the accident is that the owner didn't set the parking brake although he did press the P button on the shifter and saw that the car shifted in to park. This didn't stop the Bolt from ending up with its tail buried in a garage wall, which, as the owner claims, would require the car to be in reverse and not drive since the car was facing the front of the garage. When the owner's wife heard the crash, she went outside to check only to find that the Bolt was still in park. Creepy because if the story is true, the only plausible reason would be an error on the part of General Motor's EV.

One possible reason for the crash could be a glitch with the transmission given that the Bolt is one of the first vehicles equipped with GM's new Electronic Precision Shift system, which is a shift by wire selector. However, the Cadillac XT5 uses the same system and no similar incidents have been reported with it. The obvious difference between the Cadillac and there Chevrolet is that the XT5 requires the engine to be turned on in order to let it power the wheels while the Bolt could have short circuited and sent a stray bit of juice from battery to wheels. It's still highly unlikely though, but to get to the bottom of the incident, GM is arranging to send its engineers to the owner's house to inspect the Bolt's blackbox and see if any answers arise.

Incidents of runaway vehicles are not uncommon, with Toyota's infamous fiasco putting a dent in the automaker's bottom line and a more recent claim surfacing, claiming that a glitch caused a Tesla Model X to accelerate under full throttle and into a wall. The main difference between the runaway Bolt and the Toyota/Tesla incidents is that allegedly, no one was in the Bolt at the time of the accident, leading some to claim that the Chevy was a Skynet bot doing its evil silicon master's bidding. Pictures found at Chevrolet Forum.

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