My Car Quest

October 1, 2022

Editorial: General Motors Drops the Ball on Electric Vehicles

by Wallace Wyss –

It is to laugh. Or cry. General Motors just announced that if you own a Chevrolet Bolt, their all electric small car, you shouldn’t charge it over 90%. Or park it in your garage. That’s because it, uh, might burst into flames.

GM says all 2019–2022 model year Bolt EV and EUV vehicles are now being recalled because of one and, in some cases, two defects in the battery cells that could lead to fire. The new recall covers earlier models Bolt EVs (2017-2022) as well as the latest Bolt EUVs (2022).

The Bolt EV has a 60.0-kWh lithium-ion battery pack made by LG. Last I heard they are down to recalling every Bolt ever made. In case you didn’t notice there is a movement to get more than the 2% of Americans who presently buy full electric cars to embrace the future. But I ask, is this any way to gain our confidence in full electrics? I’m proposing GM have an internal testing program where the engineers who design these cars should be test driving driving them (with the guess-what-car-this-is covers) to discover the flaws before they get out on the market.

Maybe the engineers would burn more midnight oil to see how trouble can start and fix it. Instead they unleashed these 142,000 or so cars on the American public and the public is paying the price. Not to say the more expensive electric cars aren’t having problems. Lately Teslas have been aiming toward and crashing into emergency vehicles (12 so far) and that has to be figured out. But overall Teslas do fine on safety compared to the Bolt.

It reminds of of the M-16 rifle. I was in the Army when we had wooden rifles. Then they announced the M-16. More rapid rate of fire. Yadda yadda, so they get them out in the field in combat and they jam up. Something about the gunpowder. The wrong mix. Fine time to find out, when the enemy is charging your position.

So, as one of the Traditionalists who hates to see a century of progress with internal combustion be thrown out, this experiment-on-the-public of having us find the flaws in all-electrics is not acceptable.

The electric cars they are trying to shove down our throats have to be right, and trouble free, the first time out or there’s going to be a countermovement…it could be them that’s outlawed instead of internal combustion.

Chevrolet Bolt

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

The Author: Wallace Wyss is co-host of Autotalk, presented weekly on KUCR FM radio, Riverside, California.




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Editorial: General Motors Drops the Ball on Electric Vehicles
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Editorial: General Motors Drops the Ball on Electric Vehicles
As one of the Traditionalists who hates to see a century of progress with internal combustion be thrown out, this experiment-on-the-public of having us find the flaws in all-electrics is not acceptable.


  1. Juvenal Jorge says

    Electric cars are the antithesis of automobile enthusiasm. If there is only new electric cars some day, I will buy a used one with a real internal combustion engine.

  2. The basic notion of electric cars is fine but they are very expensive and not clean to produce, and in large numbers will place a burden on our electric grids, not sure this one is quite ready for prime time just yet… Are they fun to drive , absolutely, and can be quite fast in fact faster than their fossil fuel burning counterparts, which is great, but are they the complete panacea that we have been given to believe?… I’m thinking that just like self driving cars there is more work to be done before we can be completely comfortable with this new technology. And just for fun do a little personal research to see where the lithium for the batteries is coming from… we keep hearing about new battery technology that will revolutionize the electric car industry but as of yet I have not seen it being touted to the electric car buying public by the car makers.perhaps there are other technologies that also bear looking into…

  3. As I approached 200K commuter miles on my Pontiac G8 I decided to buy something else and save it for weekends. At the time I was still a GM-Hughes retiree (they’ve since dropped me) so I looked first at a Volt. It was a nice enough car as long as you didn’t make the mistake as I did of trying to get into the back seat. I thought I ducked enough but bashed my ear on the door opening.

    So we auditioned a Bolt. It drove nicely despite it’s somewhat dumpy look and was surprisingly quick, but the interior fit and finish was simply awful. My wife to be actually caught the skin on her forearm in a gap in the door trim. After employee pricing, some added perks and the taxpayer $7,500 contribution, the price was okay, but we just couldn’t stand the interior quality, so it was no sale. In hindsight, I’m glad it’s not burning down my garage.

  4. I have absolutely zero respect for GM , and this is from someone who had a patriarch work for them for almost 40 years. The miss steps and disastrous mistakes over the last seven decades is now being lectured on overseas in business management classes, Titled “How To Kill The #1 Corporation In The World “ your article just adds to the humiliation.

  5. wallace wyss says

    My co-host on my radio show (88.3 FM Thursdays 6:30 pm Thursdays) points out the rate of fires in Bolts is far below internal combustion engines. But I find that’s a common excuse of engineers “Oh, the failure rate is below blah-blah-blah) But he misses my point. GM shoved these into showrooms while thousands of engineers in their employ were still driving their regular cars to and from work. Why not draft them to drive 1000 Bolts and maybe the flaw would have been found BEFORE it got out to the public? By the way when new restaurants are first established it is common to have friends and family of the founders dine for a week for free so they can work out which recipes are good and which should be axed from the menu.

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