GM Bought Back This Perpetually Broken Chevy Bolt

In and out of the shop its entire life, GM has bought back one California man’s problem-plagued Bolt EV.

Harvey Payne’s Bolt has had issues since he took delivery in February. It started with a coquettish service light that both OnStar personnel and dealership staff dismissed as a “unique experience” that couldn’t be replicated.

The “nasty little light” then morphed into an actual fault, greeting Payne and his wife with diminished propulsion power and a broken L mode which they were able to mitigate with a simple power cycle.

Sending the car back to the dealership, it was looked at by one of GM’s EV specialists based in Pheonix who determined three parts should be replaced. One was local in LA, the other had to be sussed from a supplier in Michigan, and the last was out of stock and actually had to be pulled from the assembly line.

Once the Paynes got their Bolt back it worked for a few more days until more random faults began showing up. First, it was a Park Assist warning, then the Tire Pressure Monitoring system went haywire along with another Service Vehicle Soon message. Again Payne was able to manage the issues with several simple power cycles.

But then things started to really go south as the beleaguered Bolt displayed issues with the transmission, power steering, and ABS. After several attempts, they were able to power cycle the warning lights away, but only for a minute. On the car’s fateful final journey, it started suddenly accelerating and decelerating, while error codes started to cascade across Payne’s digital dash.

That was 3 weeks ago. Payne’s been a bit murky on the details, but has relayed in the comments that GM did, in fact, buy back the broken Bolt:

GM is an awesome company. They bought the problematic Bolt back and I’ve already bought a new, so far trouble free Bolt EV. They will bubble-wrap the Dead Bolt and ship it back for study. Maybe a recall in the future?

GM must move quickly on any and all quality issues with its first pure EV in over 20 years, and the first mass market oriented electric car to grace American roads. As a company, it must be hyper vigilant in counteracting perceptions of its legacy for poor quality–evangelicals can sink your product as quickly as they helped launch it–and to GM’s credit they have.

Here’s Payne enjoying his second brand new 2017 Bolt EV…

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