2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV Top Complaints and Problems – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Build quality, wheels and electrical issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

There is an urgent recall on this vehicle. Find out if your Bolt is included in the recall.

Customers looking for a cheap electric car gravitate to the 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV. The automaker claims it will help owners “go farther than you think.” However, most people that get behind the wheel are wishing to go nowhere instead. This car suffers from a defective electrical system, poorly-made wheels and a shoddy structure.

Click on other model year to view more problems:  2019   2021   2022

Electrical System Problems

With an electric-powered vehicle, the advanced systems must work seamlessly. Yet, the Bolt EV is struggling to meet expectations.

Here is one NHTSA complaint. “The contact owns a 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV. The contact stated the vehicle was in ‘L’ mode before the vehicle lunged forward into the wall. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, but it was unknown if the vehicle was diagnosed or repaired. No further information was available. The failure mileage was 500.”

Additionally, electrical system failures are running rampant within the engine itself. Service Bulletin #19NA220 states that some vehicles require an engine wiring harness replacement because of damage and the lack of propulsion. When everything is relying on a functional electric system, there’s no room for error. Maybe the Bolt should have “gone farther’ to meet these demands.

2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Fuel/propulsion System
Unknown Or Other
Power Train
Air Bags
Vehicle Speed Control
Seat Belts

Problems with the Wheels

The tires are the only part of the car that touches the road surface. With tires or wheels that aren’t performing, safety of the occupants is at risk.

Here is another NHTSA complaint to reference. “Tires don’t self-seal. I immediately advised that this was due to a defect in workmanship of the self-seal tires. I quoted the following paragraph on self-sealing tires from the Micheline OE warranty manual. ‘Michelin tires with the self-seal logo are covered under this warranty. These tires are designed to seal in the event of a puncture, and have specific instructions for repair by tire professionals at Michelin authorized dealers.’ There are two areas where we have a problem. 1.) If the tire fails to steal itself then it is not operating as designed and therefore has a defect in workmanship. 2.) The warranty specifically says they can be ‘repaired’ by a Michelin authorized dealer. I contacted 3 Michelin dealers and all of them said they do not repair self-seal tires. The fourth Michelin dealer was Costco and they told me they could repair it in error. They had never seen a self-seal tire before, never received any training from Michelin on the repair of said tires, and when presented with the product bulletin on how to repair the tires, they still refused to repair it. After a lot of haggling, I was able to get Michelin to agree to pay 50%. I am still waiting on the exact amount of the reimbursement and so this has not been completely resolved as yet. My total out of pocket for 4 new non self-seal tires is $970.01. I could have saved about $40 by not getting the lifetime/rotation/balance/flat repair.”

While there is nothing stated by the company about the issues with the tires or what should be done, there are lots of complaints saying the same thing across the internet. It might be time for Chevy to pay attention to the customers and do something different. With a little diligence, the Bolt might be able to “go farther” on functional wheels and tires.

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Build Quality Issues

No one expects the Bolt EV to be made from premium, luxury materials. Yet, the vehicle should be built to stay together and supply basic needs.

This KBB review states there might be structure-related troubles. “Floor carpeting is cheap! Had to buy WeatherTech.”

It turns out that Chevy even issued a recall showing how defective the Bolt actually is. NHTSA Campaign Number 20V184000 states that the door-handle cable in the rear doors might have been manufactured to be too long, which can lead to damage. When this cable becomes damaged, the rear door can open unintentionally if the window gets opened. Imagine the horror for rear-seat passengers when the door opens on its own. Apparently, owners can only “go farther” if they are willing to leave the back seat occupants behind. Hopefully, they don’t fall out along the ride.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes Chevrolet pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

See more posts from Brian Jones
  • Jim Z

    My 2020 BOLT started beeping, showing service immediately and power reduction about 6 weeks ago. the air conditioner stopped working and you could not charge it. the car has been at the Chevrolet dealer ever since. The Dealer tells me general motors needs to develop new software to fix it.

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