GM won't repair recalled Chevy Bolt EVs until confidence in battery producer is restored

·2 min read

The ongoing saga of the Chevy Bolt EV and EUV recalls has hit another bump in the road. Now GM is saying it will not begin repairs on the approximately 141,000 recalled electric vehicles until its confidence in battery maker LG Chem has been restored.

In a report by the Detroit Free Press, GM spokesperson Dan Flores is quoted as saying, "Because we are not confident that LG has the capability to build defect-free products, we’ve put the repairs on hold and we are not building new Bolts. We’re not going to start recall repairs or start building new Bolts until we’re confident LG will build defect-free products."

GM has issued three recalls this year regarding Bolt EV and Bolt EUV models. This was due to several reports of the cars spontaneously catching fire, prompting an NHTSA investigation into the matter.

The issue was traced to LG Chem battery packs, which the Detroit Free Press reports has been traced to a torn anode tab and folded separator in the modules. If both these defects are present in the same battery pack, the chances of fire increases.

Right now, GM and LG Chem are examining battery packs at the latter's Holland, Michigan, plant to see what might have caused the manufacturing defect. At the same time, workers are also trying to develop a computer program that dealerships can use to identify which of the car's five battery modules may have the issue. If they can't, Flores says GM will replace all five modules on every recalled car.

The first batch of recalls took place in June. Then in July GM warned Bolt owners to park their cars outside and not charge them overnight as reports of repaired cars catching fire came in. Later that month, GM told owners not to let their batteries drop below 70 miles of charge as well, expanding the recall some Bolts sold overseas. Finally, in August the recall was expanded to every Bolt sold around the world, including 2022 models. Previously, only 2017-19 models were part of the recall.

GM is halting repairs, because it believes that its current stock of battery packs may exhibit the defect, according to the Detroit Free Press report. Until it can determine what cause the errors in manufacturing, it's going to hold off on repairs.

In the meantime, GM is advising that Bolt owners set the charge limits at 90 percent, do not allow the battery to dip below 70 miles of remaining charge, park their cars outside, and do not leave them plugged in after the target charge is achieved.

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