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General Motors halts production of Chevy Bolt EV as it expands battery recall

American automotive giant General Motors has expanded the recall of its Chevrolet Bolt EV due to an unfortunate combination of the global semiconductor chip shortage and defects identified in the vehicle battery which can lead to fires.

GM was first forced to issue a recall back in November 2020 of its 2017 to 2019 Chevy Bolt EVs after a handful of fires were reported, leading the company to issue a voluntary recall.

The company announced in May that it was aiming to prevent future fires by installing new software on old and new Bolt EVs, but that didn’t work and at least two more Bolts with the software caught fire.

This led to the company issuing a second recall in July for the 2017-2019 model Chevy Bolt EV due to a risk that the battery pack could catch fire. At the time, the company also finally revealed that the cause of the problem was a defence in the battery, which were supplied by LG Chem.

Towards the end of August, GM expanded the recall to cover the remaining 2019 models as well as all 2020 to 2022 model year Chevy Bolt EVs.

According to the company press release, “In rare circumstances, the batteries supplied to GM for these vehicles may have two manufacturing defects – a torn anode tab and folded separator – present in the same battery cell, which increases the risk of fire.”

“Our focus on safety and doing the right thing for our customers guides every decision we make at GM,” said Doug Parks, GM executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain.

“As leaders in the transition to an all-electric future, we know that building and maintaining trust is critical. GM customers can be confident in our commitment to taking the steps to ensure the safety of these vehicles.”

GM will seek reimbursement from LG Chem for the losses suffered as a result of the necessary recall, which has already cost the company nearly $US2 billion and is expected to cost a further $US1 billion.

In addition to being backed into a corner necessitating a recall, General Motors has also told media outlets in the US that it is halting production of its Chevy Bolt EV and will not resume production until at least mid-September.

GM had already halted production due to the global chip shortage – which is impacting a wide array of sectors across the globe – but the company has now included the battery defect as another reason to halt production.

“We will not resume repairs or restart production until we are confident LG is producing defect free products for us,” GM spokesman Daniel Flores said in a statement to media outlets.

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