Owners have something coming in the mail.
It's been an extremely difficult year for the Chevrolet Bolt EV and the just-launched Bolt EUV. Some 141,000 examples have been recalled due to potential battery fires caused by a production defect. Battery manufacturer and GM partner LG Chem agreed to pay for nearly all of the $2 billion recall price tag. For a majority of these electric vehicles, the entire battery module needs to be replaced. Late-model examples might be able to get away with a software update instead, though this has not been decided just yet.
Meanwhile, the production stoppage at GM's Orion Assembly Plant in Michigan, home of the Bolt, remains on hold until everything is fully sorted. And through all of this, GM has steadily been replacing battery modules in customer cars but those owners now need a way to prove this has been done.
In some instances, they are banned from parking in public garages over fire concerns. To make life easier, Chevy will begin sending to these owners later in the month a "Chevrolet Certified" window cling to prove everything is 100 percent safe. These clings have QR codes that parking lot attendants and garage owners can scan to confirm all is well.
"We decided to make this cling available as the result of direct feedback from our owners," a Chevrolet spokesman said. "These clings will be available to owners who have completed the software update or battery module replacements from the dealer." GM's response to the battery fires may have been a little slow at first but once it realized there was a serious problem it wasted zero time.
The carmaker even sent owners a list of things to do and not do in order to keep their cars and, more importantly, themselves safe. One example is not to park the cars inside a home garage. If there is to be a fire, let it happen outside. Owners were also strongly advised to park at least 50 feet away from other vehicles in garages (assuming they were allowed inside).
In November, there was a software update capable of detecting battery abnormalities. A charging maximum of 80 percent was also included. The new window clings are a smart idea but let's hope they prove accurate. The last thing GM needs to see happen is a Bolt up in flames with that cling melting in its window.