Bart Schoenfeld had had enough after his Chevrolet Bolt EV was recalled for the second time.
Some of the cars may have a manufacturing defect that could cause them to catch fire, according to GM. Bolt owners should limit their use of the car to avoid overcharging the batteries and park them away from their homes for safety reasons, according to the automaker.
If one of the battery cells in an electric car has a defect that allows the stored energy to be released in an uncontrolled manner, the car may overheat. This heat can damage nearby cells, causing them to release their energy as heat as well. This can set off a chain reaction called “thermal runaway,” which can result in a fire.
Nonetheless, compared to fires in gasoline-powered vehicles, electric car fires are uncommon.
According to GM, Chevrolet Bolts have been responsible for 12 fires so far.
According to Schoenfeld, the restrictions turned what had been a very practical electric car into a huge inconvenience. GM offered to lend him a different car, but it would have been gasoline-powered because GM currently only sells the Bolt as an electric vehicle. GM used to sell a plug-in hybrid called the Volt, but it was discontinued in 2019. A different GM vehicle wasn’t a viable option for Schoenfeld. GM, on the other hand, bought his Bolt back from him.
“I’m very eco-conscious,” he said. “I’ve got my solar and my geothermal in my house and I don’t want to burn fossil fuels.”
Schoenfeld sold his Chevrolet Bolt EV back to GM for about $10,000 more than he would have gotten simply by trading it in to a dealer, he said, though he declined to provide specific figures.
According to numerous social media reports and CNN Business interviews, many Bolt owners are turning to this solution.
GM declined to say how many vehicles it has returned to customers. On a “case-by-case” basis, the company will decide whether or not to buy back individual cars, according to the company. GM also has the option of exchanging the car for another GM vehicle.
Brandon Neider, an information technology manager in Yonkers, New York, who also owns an auto detailing business, has also submitted paperwork for a buyback, which he’s been told could take a few weeks due to the volume of requests.
“I really am not comfortable having this vehicle at this point,” Neider said. “I’m not done with the brand but you know, these guys don’t even know how long this is going to take to resolve.”
In November 2020, GM issued a recall for the Chevy Bolt electric vehicles due to a fire hazard, but there was no immediate fix. It announced a software fix in May, but two fires involving Bolts that had received the fix prompted a second recall of 70,000 vehicles in July. A month later, the automaker issued another 70,000 recall notices.