GM cuts Chevy Blazer EV price as sales restart following software issues

GM cuts Chevy Blazer EV price as sales restart following software issues

The Chevrolet All-Electric Blazer EV.

Scott Mlyn | CNBC

DETROIT — General Motors is reducing the price of its new Chevrolet Blazer EV by thousands of dollars as it restarts sales of the vehicle Friday following an 11-week stoppage to address software issues.

Current 2024 Blazer EV models will start at $50,195, or $6,520 less than when it first went on sale in August. That excludes a $7,500 federal tax incentive that the vehicle now qualifies for fully.

GM halted sales of the electric vehicle in late December following reports by customers and media of problems involving the vehicle’s infotainment and charging systems, including an inability to charge its battery that could leave drivers stranded.

The issues all affected the vehicle’s software and were fixed without any physical changes to the vehicle, according to Baris Cetinok, GM’s vice president of product, software and services. They ranged from small bugs in coding to the vehicle’s ability to communicate with certain public EV chargers.

“There is not this singular, predominant root cause that causes all of these issues,” Cetinok told CNBC during an interview. “It’s circumstances and rare cases coming together.”

Cetinok, a former Apple executive who joined GM in September, said many issues were “rare but still disruptive.” The automaker initiated the stop-sale to avoid issues for additional customers.

The 2024 Chevrolet Blazer SS EV.


To find and address the problems, GM conducted a “testing matrix” involving repeatedly rewriting and testing coding as well as physical on-road testing across the country, Cetinok said.

“For us, it was important to get it right rather than fast. Right and fast is of course ideal, but the point is we rather put the pain on ourselves to take the time and pause and fix it,” he said.

GM said the processes to fix the Blazer EV have helped it strengthen its software quality validation testing for future vehicles.

Still no Apple CarPlay

In addition to fixing the software issues, GM added or changed some features following early customer feedback. They include customizable multicolor ambient lighting and revised driver information graphics, including a battery percentage display.

GM will not reinstate Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in the Blazer or future vehicles, according to Cetinok. He contends GM’s programs that can communicate with the rest of the vehicle’s internal systems offer a better customer experience and more functionality than a third-party add that simply overlays onto a screen.

Apple CarPlay.

Source: Apple Inc.

“When you are a company that is deeply vertically integrated, that is actually in the business of creating the hardware as well as software and service, you can create far more seamless experiences,” Cetinok said. “Vertical integration is the best way to go.”

GM made waves last year when it said its future EVs would not include the features, which essentially mirror functions such as navigation, music and others from a smartphone to the vehicle’s infotainment system.

The vertical integration also is expected to help GM reap revenue from potential infotainment subscriptions and services. In October 2021, GM projected annual software and services revenue would be around $20 billion to $25 billion from an estimated 30 million connected vehicles by the end of this decade.

Price cuts

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