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Friday, 15 October 2021 19:17

GM Prioritizes Fixing Chevy Bolts Before Restarting Production

Written by Jamie L. LaReau, Detroit Free Press
A 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV is seen after it caught fire July 1 in Thetford, VT. A 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV is seen after it caught fire July 1 in Thetford, VT. Vermont State Police/AFP

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General Motors plans to prioritize fixing the 140,000 Chevrolet Bolt EVs and EUVs under recall before it restarts production of new Bolts at its Orion Assembly plant.

On Oct. 13, GM said the plant in Orion Township will remain idle until Nov. 1 because of a battery pack shortage related to the recall, said Dan Flores, GM spokesman. GM stopped production Aug. 23 and did not provide a restart date.

 

"Downtime is being extended to include the weeks of Oct. 18 and Oct. 25 to continue to work with our supplier to accelerate production of new battery modules and prioritize recall repairs," Flores said in a statement.

 

In August, GM expanded a second recall on the Bolts to include all 2017-22 model year EVs and EUVs---an electric SUV design. GM has confirmed 13 Bolts have caught fire, causing three injuries that Flores said were "minor," consisting of smoke inhalation.

 

GM's battery supplier is LG Electronics Inc., a division of LG Chem. On Oct. 12, LG said it would reimburse GM for $1.9 billion in costs associated with the Bolt recall for making defective battery modules.

 

The companies said starting in October, 2017-19 Bolts will get five new battery modules, essentially an enhanced battery pack. Those repaired Bolts get an eight-year or 100,000-mile warranty on the new battery pack.

 

The 2020-22 models will get all-new modules, too, unless GM develops software that will allow it to identify whether the cars have defective modules that need replacing or not.

 

Separately, GM said production of the Chevrolet Equinox SUV at Ramos Assembly in Mexico will remain idle until Nov. 22, because of the global shortage of semiconductor chips. It has been down since Aug. 16.

 

Ramos Assembly will restart one shift of Chevrolet Blazer SUV production Oct. 18. 

 

We thank the Detroit Free Press for reprint permission.

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