GM addressing battery glitch in small number of Chevy Bolts

General Motors has contacted a few hundred buyers of its Chevrolet Bolt electric car to address a battery glitch that can affect propulsion, a spokesman said Friday.

The defect is present in some of the first Bolts that were manufactured and means that a car may say that 80 miles of electric power remains when in fact the battery will only last for 20 miles, said GM spokesman Chris Bonelli.

The Bolt's progress has been closely monitored in the car industry because it was the first all-electric vehicle aimed at the middle market. It was first launched in Dec. 2016, currently lists at US$36,620 and is sold in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Tesla Motors is also ramping up a launch of its all-electric Model 3 aimed at the middle market. Tesla has made the first deliveries of its car and aims to hit a production level of 5,000 units a week starting this year.

The Bolt's battery problem has turned up in less than one percent of the 10,000 vehicles sold since GM launched the Bolt in Dec. 2016. GM will replace the batteries on the affected cars, Bonelli said.

The U.S. auto giant is also reaching out to an additional number of customers whose cars have not experienced a problem but are susceptible to the glitch in an effort to "get the battery pack replaced before they actually experience the loss of propulsion," Bonelli said.

Bonelli said the overall number of customers are in the "low hundreds."