Chevrolet Bolt Electric Vehicles Recalled Over Improperly Manufactured Component

Chevrolet Bolt 8 photos
Photo: Chevrolet / edited
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Hindered by poor quality control, the Bolt is going the way of the dodo by the end of 2023 due to poor sales. Scheduled to be revived in the near future with Ultium underpinnings and Ultifi software, the Bolt has been hit with yet another safety recall. Similar to the infamous LG battery recall, this one also stems from a supplier.
Yanfeng US Automotive Interior Systems, the company that makes the instrument panel top pad, informed General Motors of an issue on June 20. Based in Michigan, the supplier told GM that certain instrument panels were produced without passenger-side airbag perforations. The biggest automaker of the Big Three in Detroit started investigating on June 23, identifying a grand total of 403 potentially affected vehicles. Of those, 317 have been called back in the United States market.

The lack of perforation on the underside of the panel cover leads to improper airbag deployment, increasing the risk of injury for the front passenger in the event of a crash. A sub-supplier allowed unperforated cover pads to be shipped to Yanfeng, which – in turn – allowed the unfinished panels to pass through quality control into the finished product. No fewer than three part numbers are listed in the document attached below, as follows: 42801933, 42801935, 42801937. Dealers have been instructed to replace the entire instrument panel assembly at no cost whatsoever to owners.

Owners will be informed no later than September 25 via first-class mail. Both 2022 and 2023 model year vehicles are recalled, namely Bolt EVs produced between April 16, 2021 and June 3, 2023. The Bolt EUV uses a different panel. Extremely similar to the EV, the EUV is also made at the Orion Assembly Plant.

Previously marketed as the Opel Ampera-e in Europe, the Bolt is based on what GM calls the BEV2 platform. The Ultium electric vehicle platform family comprises the BEV3 for unibodies and BT1 for body-on-frame applications (think GMC Hummer EV and that lot).

The BEV3-based Equinox EV was intended to replace the Bolt EV, albeit indirectly, in Chevrolet's lineup. But given the importance of competitive pricing in the switch from internal combustion to electric propulsion, General Motors ultimately acknowledged the need for a small electric vehicle. It's too early to tell how different the next generation will be from the first, but we're utmost certain that General Motors learned a valuable lesson in hubris after failing to one-up the Model 3.

We're also certain that General Motors will keep the starting price below $30,000 (before destination and the federal tax credit). For reference, the most spartan configuration of the Equinox EV is coming to a showroom near you in the spring of 2024 with a starting price of around $30,000. As for the Bolt EV and Bolt EUV, make that $26,500 and $27,800 at press time.
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 Download: Chevrolet Bolt recall (PDF)

About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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