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Our Long-Term Chevy Blazer EV Is Back, but the Stop-Sale Remains

Updates significantly improve our ownership experience

Long Term 2024 Blazer EV front profile
  • Our Blazer EV spent a month at a dealership while engineers and technicians fixed its various issues.
  • GM offered to buy it back, but we declined.
  • Went back to the dealer a month later to implement a comprehensive software update.
  • The Blazer EV stop-sale order remains in effect.

UPDATE: After the publication of the below article, GM representatives reached out and confirmed the Blazer EV stop-sale would be lifted significantly sooner than the end of May but declined to give a definitive timeline.

When we last visited the saga of our new and surprisingly broken long-term Chevy Blazer EV, General Motors had just halted all sales of the electric SUV following our report that our vehicle threw a devastating 23 fault codes. After a month of being examined by GM engineers, having numerous parts replaced and software updated, and our politely declining Chevrolet's offer to buy back our vehicle, the Blazer EV is finally back in our possession. The good news: It's been working pretty well since we brought it home. The bad news: Chevy has not yet released the final software update that is supposed to fix everything and lift the stop-sale.

What did Chevrolet have to fix?

The primary objective was not only to address all 23 fault codes but to also solve an issue related to DC fast charging that we noted just days before the more wide-reaching debacle. Our Blazer EV RS is rated to charge at rates up to 150 kW (the yet-to-be-released SS can do 190 kW), but we only observed speeds that high for a few moments after connecting to the Blazer's charge port. It would drop precipitously from there. On several occasions, the DC charging session halted after only a few minutes.

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Blazer EV rear detail

The repair timeline

By the time we published our original story on December 20, 2023, our long-term Blazer EV had already been at Culver City Chevrolet for two weeks. Technicians from both GM and another dealership had been working long days to fix our Blazer EV, which sat in its own dedicated service bay. The Blazer then settled in for a winter's nap during the holiday break, and we met with General Motors PR reps right after Christmas to discuss our options.

Given the length of time this nearly brand-new car was out of our possession and the unknown length of time required to fully repair it, GM offered to repurchase the car and sell us a new one once the stop-sale lifts. While not a common occurrence, there are instances where a manufacturer will buy a vehicle back from a customer. Not only is this done to preserve customer relationships (few buyers are OK with having their new cars out of their possession for weeks at a time), it's also in the automaker's best interest to learn why the car failed so spectacularly in the first place so it can implement changes.

We politely declined the offer, not out of some subconsciously masochistic streak, but because a) we wanted to catalog our experience with the vehicle we bought, warts and all, and b) we would have to wait until the stop-sale lifted to begin the process of sourcing a replacement Blazer for our long-term fleet. After settling up with GM, our service adviser called on December 27 to inform us that the dealership was waiting for parts to come in.

On January 9, 2024 — just over a month after we brought the car to the dealership — our Summit White Blazer EV RS was finally ready to return home.

2024 Blazer EV front detail

The repair list

  • Replaced central touchscreen and digital instrument panel display. The repair notes read: "Found the center stack display not communicating with driver information display and backup cam. Working in conjunction with engineering found a firmware/software anomaly. Replaced displays and installed latest software available to correct issue." Several noted issues, including erroneous error messages that displayed in the instrument panel, should be solved with this fix.
  • Replaced F-sensor. This sensor measures the ambient temperature. If the ambient temperature is too high, it throttles or disables charging to prevent damage to the battery. Our sensor was not reading the correct ambient temperature, which explains why the DC charging sessions stopped soon after we plugged the vehicle in.
  • Replaced window switches.
  • Replaced fuse and reprogrammed several modules to comply with Bulletin #N232428190, which addresses programming issues that caused the 12-volt battery to drain unexpectedly.

Finally back in our garage, but the repairs continue

Over the following three weeks, members of our team took the Blazer EV home every night and reported no new showstopping glitches. During this period, Director of Vehicle Testing Jonathan Elfalan conducted a charging test with high-output DC stations and reported that not only did he observe rates at the Blazer's 150-kW max, but that it was able to sustain high-speed charging over a typical charging cycle. Translation: The F-sensor replacement ensured that the Blazer EV now charges normally at DC stations.

On January 30, our adviser at the Culver City dealership informed us that a significant software update was available for the Blazer, which would bring additional stability and enhancements to the system. Due to the size and complexity of the update, we would have to bring the SUV back to the dealership, where a General Motors tech engineer would oversee the installation.

We also asked our adviser to look into two further issues:

  • The pedestrian warning chime would activate when walking up to the Blazer, even when the car was off and nobody was behind the wheel.
  • All icons suddenly disappeared from the touchscreen display, leaving only the background visible. This only happened once.

We dropped the Blazer off the morning of February 6 and picked it up the following day. From initialization to completion, the update took four hours to deploy. The update was indeed comprehensive and reprogrammed not only the screen but also numerous systems and sensors. These included the battery control module, drive motor control module, body control module and sensors, and modules pertaining to advanced safety features. The update should also take care of the two malfunctions listed above.

2024 Blazer EV front

The stop-sale is still in effect

Following this software flash, our Blazer EV is doing better than ever. But the stop-sale is still in effect. This update should roll out to the fewer than 500 other current Blazer EV owners sometime soon.

But the major software update that will lift the stop-sale is still up to three months away from being deployed. That places the Blazer EV ... relaunch? ... sometime before the end of May, or roughly one year after it was originally supposed to go on sale. While we haven't had any issues since the previous update, we're looking forward to having all of our Blazer's systems in a finished state.

Edmunds says

These replacements and updates should improve the stability and reliability of our Blazer EV's various subsystems. Hopefully they roll out to existing Blazer EV customers soon.

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