Monday, 13 September 2021 22:25

GM, LG Working Around the Clock on Bolt EV Battery Recall

Written by Mark Kane, Inside EVs


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General Motors "is taking a more direct role" with LG Chem's LG Energy Solution in solving the huge battery recall issue that affects all Chevrolet Bolt EV and Chevrolet Bolt EUV electric cars and paralyzed the production.

According to GM's representatives, via Reuters, the two companies are working around the clock to track down and fix the problems.


"At an investor conference on [Sept. 10], GM Chief Financial Officer Paul Jacobson said LG is working with GM engineers to 'clean up the manufacturing process' at LG battery plants and implement some 'GM quality metrics,'" Reuters reported.


“Experts from GM and LG continue to work around the clock on the issues,” GM spokesman Dan Flores said Sept. 9. “We are determined to do the right thing for our customers and resolve the problem once and for all. Once we are confident LG can provide us with good battery modules, we will begin repairs as quickly as we can.”


GM has found two manufacturing defects in the battery cells supplied by its South Korean partner from two of its plants, one in South Korea and one in Michigan---a torn anode tab and folded separator---which in some rare circumstances may lead to a battery fire.


The problem concerns batteries in all Bolt EVs/EUVs---about 142,000---produced between 2017-2022. They must get new battery modules inside the pack, or an entire new pack.


We are not entirely sure about the details, but as of now, it appears early Bolt models will get an entire new battery pack replaced, while the newer cars will only the battery modules.


The scale of the recall---about 142,000 cars and more than 9 GWh of batteries---is huge and will translate into a $1.8 billion cost. Moreover, GM was forced to stop production of new cars until LG fixes the manufacturing lines and starts supplying defect-free battery cells. Shutdown of the Orion Assembly plant production is extended to late September, idling about 1,000 employees.


New batteries might not be available until "after November" and then it might take...

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