The company is committed to supporting the Spark EV.
April 21st, two weeks after the failure of the high voltage battery pack in our Spark EV (above), we published an article stating that battery packs for the Spark EV were no longer available from GM and would not be available from the company going forward.
The information we were given at the time, and the knowledge of the many people at the company we spoke with during those two weeks, was that battery packs for ALL Spark EVs were unavailable and discontinued. We were told that there was a stockpile of batteries available, and after that supply ran out on April 7th, there were no more. We were told our car was unrepairable and we were offered a buyback on our car as a result and had begun that process.
Since publishing, the original post, GM has said initial reports were incorrect, they will be supporting the Spark EV. We have been in direct communication with the company and have updates to share regarding our car and also what the future will look like for other Spark EVs.
Simply, it seems that there was miscommunication within the company that created some confusion. We have been told now that there was a breakdown of communication between departments at the company (Purchasing, Supply Chain, After Sales Support, etc.) At the dealership level, parts departments were showing that the latest part number for the battery pack for the Spark EV was discontinued. This was widespread across the country. In addition to the dealerships we reached out to, members of the Spark EV Owners Facebook Group also contacted many dealerships and found the same to be true.
Representatives from the company that knew otherwise learned about our reporting, and on April 27th were able to put out the following statement:
"Recent reports speculating that GM will no longer provide battery pack replacements for the Spark EV are incorrect. While we are currently experiencing a temporary disruption in the supply of new Spark EV packs, GM remains committed to providing replacement packs to Spark EV owners who need them in the future and will work with owners until we get the supply issues resolved."
Since then, members of the Facebook group have contacted the same dealerships and verified that the part is now showing available, but backordered and dependent on supply. EV Resource has been in direct communication with the company, both for our own car and also in regards to what this statement means for the future support of the Spark EV. The good news: Spark EVs will have support from the company, indefinitely. So, what can Spark EV owners expect from here on?
What Does This Mean Going Forward?
In response to the statement, we reached out to Kevin Kelly, Senior Director of Chevrolet EV Communications, with a few followup questions.
Q: When do you expect to have replacement packs available to Spark EV owners who need
A: We continue to work with our suppliers to provide replacement packs for the Spark EV as
needed and will have some packs available in the near future. We will continue to work to
Q: What is causing the supplier logistics issues?
A: We’re not going to get into the specifics but will continue to work with our suppliers to
improve replacement pack availability.
Q: What should Spark EV owners who need a replacement pack do in the meantime?
A: Our EV Concierge team is available to help. Owners who need assistance should call 833-
Mr. Kelly was very clear about the future of the company's support for the car, saying, "Rest assured we are not going to leave the owners of Spark EVs without options. We are continuing to work through [supply chain concerns] in terms of long term availability, we are focused on getting everything we can get right now."
EV Resource Point Of View
It is clear to us that the company is committed to the repair and support of Spark EV vehicles under warranty. For our own car, we have been told that a pack will be installed in a few weeks and we will be driving again soon. We have confirmed with Chevrolet that there are a few battery packs available now, and that the company will be making more as they are able.
The cells for the battery packs are manufactured in Korea and then shipped to the United States for battery pack assembly. Naturally, the future availability of those battery packs depends on the supply chain, but that is something that is affecting a lot of companies, not just GM.