2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV Top Complaints and Problems – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Powertrain & electrical issues are 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.

The 2021 Chevrolet Bolt made national headlines and got worldwide attention after batteries in these cars caught on fire. Unveiled in 2016 and produced from 2017, the Chevy Bolt was dubbed the first truly mass-market all-electric car. Now, every single car is on recall by General Motors (GM) because of fire dangers.

So, if you are a Chevrolet Bolt owner, regardless of the model year, your car is included in the recall. The United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) media release on its website explains it all. This includes the fact that you must park your car outside, away from any structures, and mustn’t charge it overnight. You must also get it to “a local dealer immediately to have the change made.”

Additionally, the company said it will focus on making replacement batteries and won’t build new Chevy Bolt electric vehicles until at least the end of January 2022.

In August 2021, GM blamed the fires on two possible manufacturing defects, a folded separator and a torn anode tab. LG battery plants resumed production in September and were due to start shipping to dealers in October.

Despite the scenario, complaints issued to the NHTSA indicate that many Bolt owners asking for buybacks or other compensation are hitting a blank. The reality is that while GM confirmed in November 2021 that 16 cars caught fire, about 141,000 cars are known to be affected by the recall. So, this is one big problem.

What makes it worse is that many complaints to the NHTSA, as recently as December, say that parts needed to make the recall aren’t available. If they can’t fix a recall problem, Bolt owners need another recourse. Lemberg Law can help you.

Click on other model year to view more problems:  2019   2020   2022

The Most Common Problems

It isn’t surprising that the most common 2021 Bolt problems reflected in complaints to the NHTSA are electrical. But it isn’t the only problem.

There are 7 fuel/propulsion system complaints, 5 powertrain complaints, 3 that relate to service brakes, and 2 to do with steering. Airbag, lane departure, suspension, tires, and vehicle speed control issues also feature.

Also, batteries catching on fire isn’t the only issue with batteries. Bradley Berman, who writes for Autoweek, says he leased a 2017 Bolt for three years. During that time, his battery pack was replaced three times due to cell failure. The car didn’t go up in flames, it simply stopped on the road leaving him stranded!

2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Fuel/propulsion System
Unknown Or Other
Power Train
Service Brakes
Electrical System:12v/24v/48v Battery
Air Bags

Electrical System Problems

Of the 30 complaints registered by NHTSA for the 2021 model, 15 are related to the electrical system, most of which relate to the recall. Some who have settlement agreements say there hasn’t been any follow-through and months later they are still stuck with a car that, according to the recall notification, might spontaneously combust.

At least one complaint is unrelated to the battery and relates to the camera and infotainment system.

Additionally, one complainant who got emergency power failure alerts, and then discovered the battery disconnect lever had failed, was offered a vehicle buyback after the car was repaired. It is not clear if this issue has been solved.

Another states: “On 16/11/21 GM offered me a horrible buyback that didn’t cover all my down payment and fees at the time of lease. I rejected it and I am still paying and insuring a car unsafe at zero speeds.”

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Problem with the Fuel System

Problems include a car that stopped while errors about propulsion were displayed. The car was towed away for a diagnosis. Another decelerated abruptly from 91 to 20 mph on the highway, displaying a “propulsion power is reduced” error. This incident and another similar one on a different freeway almost caused an accident.

Other fuel/propulsion-related problems relate to battery defects.

Powertrain Problems

Most of these problems show up as the car lurching either forward or backward. But the scenarios are all different. One driver was changing gears. Another was in park mode. Another was in the forward-driving position leaving the driveway.

Who knows what Chevrolet will make of these?

What to do if Your 2021 Chevy Bolt is a Lemon? Your Lemon Rights

Sometimes car owners manage to negotiate settlements on their own. Sometimes they find finalizing offers is a challenge all on its own.

You don’t need to go through the unnecessary stress of fighting for your rights to settlement. Lemberg Law has helped countless car owners with buyback agreements, trade-ins, replacement vehicles, and other settlements. We can do the same for you.

If you think you’ve bought a lemon, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by contacting us. Once we evaluate your case and you become a client, we are on your side. It won’t cost you a cent because the law makes the manufacturer pay in cases like these. So phone our Helpline today.

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

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