Bolt EV getting first “over the air” update

2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Chevrolet Bolt EVs will soon begin downloading some software updates over the Internet that previously required visits to a dealer.

The first such update will fix a variety of issues related to the center infotainment display. Changes include improving the display resolution for Android Auto, and fixing issues with Bluetooth phone connectivity, inconsistent rear camera operation, and screen lock-ups or black-outs.

GM has released several updates to the infotainment software since the first Bolt EV’s were delivered in December, 2016 so the version currently installed in a car will depend on when it was built and whether a dealer has since installed an update during vehicle servicing.

Owners can check for updates and their current software version on the Software Information menu under the Settings page of the infotainment screen.

GM says owners may see messages on the infotainment screen prompting them to download and install the update beginning around April 18 and it is expected to continue rolling out to cars until August.

“The rollout will be released in waves, and timing is based on several factors, including the age of the vehicle and geographic region. It is not strictly chronological, but takes into account vehicle build dates, current radio configuration and manageable numbers to monitor the successful completion”, said GM spokesperson Katie Amann.

By default, the update will download over the vehicle’s OnStar system which is connected to the Internet via a built-in 4G LTE cellular phone radio which comes standard in every Bolt EV. A paid OnStar subscription is not required for the download. As an alternative, the car can also be configured to connect to the Internet via nearby WiFi stations.

It’s unclear whether this over the air update mechanism will be used in the future for anything other than infotainment system updates. It’s also unclear whether updates will just fix problems in existing vehicle features or whether new functionality will be added over time to older vehicles as is typical for phones or computers.

Bolt EV owners began receiving an email from GM with details about the update process today.

Dear General Motors Customer: 

As the owner of a 2017 model year Chevrolet Bolt EV, your satisfaction with our product is very important to us. This letter is to inform you of new software updates that will soon be available for your vehicle. Depending on its configuration, your vehicle may require two updates. The software updates will improve phone connectivity, display resolution, rear camera operation, and prevent instances of intermittent screen freezing. The updates will also remove certain video playback functionality and improve the ability to perform software updates to your radio. This service will be provided for you at no charge. 

We are rolling out the software updates to vehicle owners in phases beginning April 2018 through August 2018. Updates will be performed remotely, through in-vehicle prompts from the radio display. When a software update package becomes available for your vehicle, you will be notified through those in-vehicle prompts. To ensure successful completion of the update, please review the enclosed information. 

The download and installation of the software updates will occur in steps. You may be asked to accept the download of the software update package. The vehicle must be parked to accept the download, but after the download is accepted, you will be able to use your vehicle normally during the download process. Once the download is completed, you will then be asked to accept the installation of the software update package. During installation of the software update package, your vehicle must be parked. You may also notice one or more system resets during the installation process. 

IMPORTANT: You do not need to remain in your vehicle during the software installation. The vehicle cannot be driven during the software install process (up to 10 minutes). The vehicle must be parked at a safe and secure location with the ignition in the OFF position during installation. Also, electric vehicle battery charging cannot occur during software installation. Please ensure that your charging cable is unplugged prior to starting the installation. Once the installation is complete, you may plug in your vehicle and resume normal charging. 

For more information about the remote vehicle update process, please refer to the appropriate “Learn About Page” at:
If you receive a message that the installation cannot continue or did not complete successfully, the installation process may retry after your next ignition cycle. If the problem persists, please contact your dealer for assistance with the software update. 

You can also decline the update by selecting the “More Info” button, and then the “Decline Update” option. If you decline the update, you can still receive it at a later date by contacting your dealer. This programming opportunity will be in effect until April 30, 2020. 

We want you to know that we will do our best, throughout your ownership experience, to ensure that your Chevrolet Bolt EV provides you with many miles of enjoyable driving. If you have any questions, please contact the Connection Center Team at 877-558-8352, 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM, Eastern Standard Time (EST), seven days a week.



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