The 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV is an early step in General Motors' promise of an electric vehicle future.
"Our early experience in a Chevy Blazer EV has been anything but positive, sadly," said Alistair Weaver, editor-in-chief of Edmunds.com.
Yes, online automotive powerhouse Edmunds.com, which routinely purchases vehicles for long-term testing purposes. They bought the $60,000 vehicle in October for just such a test. But they experienced a slew of glitches early on.
"We took it into a Chevy dealer, asked them to have a look at it, and they came back with nothing short of 23 different error codes, which frankly is almost unheard of," said Weaver.
And then it sat in the service department at Culver City Chevrolet for three weeks, prompting a headline on the Edmunds site, noting the 23 problems after just two months.
Then, Consumer Reports chimed in with a negative post about the Blazer EV they too had purchased, expressing disappointment on their web site about the flaws they found in the electric SUV.
In the meantime, General Motors issued a nationwide stop-sale order on the vehicle December 22nd. Even if dealers have them, they can't deliver them to customers until GM solves the problem.
The company issued a statement from Chevrolet Vice President Scott Bell.
"We're aware that a portion of customers have experienced software-related quality issues with their Blazer EV. Customer satisfaction is our top priority, and as such, we will take a brief pause on new deliveries."
General Motors is what's known as a legacy automaker. They've been successfully building gasoline powered cars for over 100 years. But electric vehicles? That's a whole new frontier."
"Like a lot of manufacturers, GM is finding that going to electric power isn't quite as simple, or as easy, or as reliable as the expected," said veteran Detroit auto journalist and industry watcher Paul Eisenstein, editor of the site Headlight.news.
Case in point, in early 2022 their Cadillac division was showing off its new electric SUV, the Lyriq, with deliveries supposedly beginning later that year. But by the end of 2022, only a handful had made their way out of dealerships. Things did pick up a bit last year, but the electric Cadillac is still pretty scarce.
"I have a friend who ordered a Lyriq over 18 months ago. He finally cancelled his order, said Paul Eisenstein, who wrote about Lyriq delays last August.
As for the Blazer EV, GM's engineers are working on a software fix, and once that happens, the vehicles can start heading to customers again.
Edmunds is ready for the fix on theirs.
"In a couple weeks' time it's going back into a dealer for an update, which they're saying should fix the problem," said editor-in-chief Alistair Weaver.