Chevrolet, burned 800 million in Bolt's batteries

Chevrolet, burned 800 million in Bolt's batteries


Chevrolet hopes to have closed the Bolt issue with its latest classifieds and the note on the cost of replacing defective batteries. There is talk of over 11,000 dollars each, for almost 70,000 cars sold mainly in the United States (between 2017 and 2019). In fact, the total expenses related to guarantees and recalls will almost all go to Bolt, a good 800 million out of 1.3 billion in total. From which we see how much batteries weigh on the price of hybrid and electric cars, until production cycles are optimized or new cheaper materials are found.

Returning to the Bolt issue, other interesting backstories emerge from the latest GM and Chevrolet announcements . The manufacturer and supplier of the batteries was LG Chem, the same as the Hyundai Kona which had shown similar problems long ago. In that case, LG had taken on a large part of the costs for the replacement but it seems excluded that this will happen again. Otherwise, such a disbursement would not have been announced in the latest tax report.

To try to limit the negative impact on the PR and image level, General Motors has repeatedly stated that the next electrified models will have nothing in common with Bolt. He also reminded that customer safety comes first, hence the decision to replace all batteries (even for those who haven't had any problems). The last sentence is not entirely correct: the second recall came months after the first and about two years after the first owners of a Bolt reported "self-ignition" problems.

On one point, Mary Barra (CEO of General Motors) is certainly right: the Bolt affair was an important lesson for the future. Not just for Chevrolet but for all electric car manufacturers, if we think that veteran Tesla had similar problems in older models. In short, batteries remain the heart of the EV world both positively and negatively. Investing more in their reliability is not only important, but fundamental to avoid unpleasant surprises.

The car charger via cigarette lighter, with two USB sockets for smartphones, tablets and so on.

What to Buy: 1993–2002 Chevrolet Camaro

Photo credit: John Roe - Car and Driver

From the September 2021 issue of Car and Driver.

For 10 years, the fourth-generation Chevrolet Camaro dominated Mustangs on the street and the strip as it bridged the gap between GM's legacy-small-block era and its LS-powered future. The last Camaro to offer T-tops, the fourth gen paid tribute to the windblown, big-hair '80s while its sleek and stylized body looked forward to the wind-tunnel-optimized days ahead. As '90s cars become collectible, this Camaro's aero emphasis and V-8 options make it both a fun driver and a worthy investment that (we think) hasn't quite reached its potential.

Muscle-car fans in search of a good deal should focus on the initial Z28 with the 275-hp LT1 or the SS model with the 305-hp V-8 that came out three years later. For those with a bigger budget, the 1998–2002 Camaros borrow the Corvette's aluminum-block 5.7-liter LS1, rated at up to 325 horsepower. All V-8 cars could be had with either a six-speed manual or a four-speed automatic. A six-speed plus some suspension upgrades and a set of sticky tires will net you a canyon carver that can hang with sports cars while leaving you enough money for the nostalgic purchase of a Warrant cassette.

Photo credit: John Roe - Car and Driver


Spend a little more for a low-mileage car. Values for Camaros in excellent condition range from $12,000 for a first-year Z28 to $24,000 for a last-year LS1-powered SS, with special-edition cars commanding higher prices. If you're picking cherries, 1997's 330-hp SS LT4 30th Anniversary cars are among the rarest; those in great condition nudge up against $40,000. Don't be afraid of a well-kept modified car losing its value, as this era's Camaro hasn't reached the 'keep it stock' stage of collecting. The later LS cars can deliver a significant boost in output with camshaft, cylinder-head, intake, and exhaust upgrades. So get out there and hot-rod your Camaro as nature intended.

Photo credit: John Roe - Car and Driver

Problem Areas

The interiors, especially on the T-top and convertible cars, hold up with typical '90s-plastic durability, which is to say not so well. Watch out for delamination on the doors and exterior roof caps too.

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