General Motors issued a stop-sale order on the 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV due to mounting reports of problems with the battery-powered SUV. The issues appear to be software-based, and among those motorists have cited, are problems getting the vehicle to charge. A spokesman told Headlight.News the concerns impact a “limited number” of Blazer EVs, adding that Chevy is looking to make very quick fixes.
The new 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV appears to be off to a troubled start. With a growing number of owners — as well as media reviewers — reporting issues with the all-electric SUV, the bowtie brand has issued a stop-order, telling dealers to halt sales and deliveries until a fix can be implemented.
Among other things, owners have reported problems charging using public DC quick chargers. But there have also been problems reported with window switches, infotainment screens and onboard map software.
“A limited number of customers have experienced software quality related issues. For that reason, we have decided to voluntarily pause sales of the Blazer EV temporarily until we can issue a software update to remedy these concerns,” Chevrolet said in a statement attributed to Scott Bell, the global vice president for Chevrolet.
A critical product
The all-electric version of the familiar Chevrolet Blazer only recently rolled out and, according to Cars.com, there are currently only about 1,000 of the EVs on dealer lots across the U.S.
The Blazer EV is the latest in a growing family of battery-electric vehicles using parent General Motors’ new Ultium technology. Chevy already is selling the commercial version of its Silverado EV pickup and is preparing to launch the retail model. It will follow in early 2024 with the Equinox EV and has confirmed that an all-new makeover of the popular Chevrolet Bolt EV is coming. The original just ended its production run.
Blazer EV was seen as a showcase of Ultium tech and is, notably, being offered with three different powertrain configurations: front, rear and all-wheel-drive.
A disappointing setback
The Blazer EV received generally positive reviews during a week-long series of brief media drives earlier in December — including this one from Headlight.News — but reports of trouble started circulating as more journalists been given the change to drive the electric crossover for extended runs. Edmunds, for example, published a report on Friday noting its test vehicle, with less than 2,000 miles on the odometer, experienced “23 problems.”
In line with what Headlight.News experienced at the original media drive, Edmunds said Its own, weeklong drive “started uneventfully. But then the window switches refused to work. And then the infotainment display completely melted down, stuck in an infinite loop of shutting off, turning on, displaying a map centered in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and turning back off again. It did this until we pulled off the freeway and restarted the car. All was well after the reset, but an hour later, it happened again.”
After taking the vehicle to a dealer, Edmunds reported seeing the “single longest list of major faults” it had ever experienced with a test vehicle.
A variety of similar problems have been reported by new Blazer EV owners, as well as a handful of automotive journalists. One of the more serious issues that have been cited involved problems getting the 2024 Chevy Blazer EV to charge properly, especially when connected to a public DC quick charger.
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For now, Chevy dealers will halt deliveries of any Blazer EV already on order. And while retailers could continue showing off the vehicle they cannot complete a sale.
In the meantime, spokesman Chad Lyons told Headlight.News that, “GM is working quickly to address these issues and to implement a fix. Our engineering teams are working around the clock toward a solution.”
At the moment, it appears that the problems with the Chevrolet Bolt EV are all software related. It’s unclear how so many issues might have escaped the automaker’s attention. There may be good news, however. If Chevy does find no hardware problems it likely would be able to update the defective software code using the EV’s smartphone-style over-the-air update capabilities. That’s how Tesla plans to handle the recall announced last week covering 2 million EVs with the Autopilot system.
A black eye for EVs
This is just the latest problem GM has faced with its new Ultium technology. Some issues have been hardware-based, including batteries. A large number involve software. The automaker had to address such issues with early versions of the Cadillac Lyriq.
But, as the Tesla recall underscores, EVs, in general, have had plenty of problems, much of that due to the extensive amount of software they rely on.
A recent series of studies from J.D. Power and others has found owners reporting a wide range of issues with their EVs. On average, EVs experienced 79% more problems than vehicles with internal combustion engines, according to the 2023 Consumer Reports Auto Reliability Study released in November.
Despite such issues, a number of owner surveys have found EV owners among the most satisfied, with a high likelihood of going electric when it comes time to trade in.