Following previous news that it was halting all Bolt EV and EUV production until battery supplier LG can supply defect-free cells, General Motors (GM) has announced an extended pause into October. The decision follows a recall of Chevy Bolt EVs over battery issues resulting in twelve reported fires.
The Chevrolet Bolt debuted in 2016 as the lone EV offering from GM. Since then, the legacy automaker has introduced the Bolt EUV as well as… actually that’s it.
While GM has an all-electric Hummer, the Cadillac Lyriq, and a four-wheel steering Silverado on the horizon, the Chevy Bolt and Bolt EUV currently sit as the only two EVs on GM’s production lines… although they’ve recently been frozen.
At the end of August, we reported that GM was halting the production of both versions of the Bolt until “LG can supply defect-free batteries.” The decision followed months of reports of Bolt EVs catching fire while charging — soliciting pressure from many to extend a recall.
GM inevitably folded last month, issuing a widened recall on all Bolt models from 2017-2022, including new Bolt EUVs. Alongside the recall announcement totaling over 140,000 vehicles, GM blamed battery supplier LG, citing two manufacturing defects, saying it would seek reimbursement for costs estimated at around $1.8 billion.
At the time, GM’s production on the Chevy Bolt was already halted due to the global chip shortage. The legacy automaker stated it would not restart the assembly lines until it was confident LG would be supplying them with “defect-free” cells.
While we figured this production delay would take some time, we now know that not a single Bolt will move forward in production until at least the middle of fall.
GM pushes Bolt EV production pause into mid-October
According to a report from Reuters, GM said it will extend its halt to Chevy Bolt production at its Michigan assembly facility until at least October 15th.
The Orion Assembly Facility where the Bolts are built in Lake Orion, MI is one of several GM North American plants facing production stoppages. However, GM’s other facilities have been halted solely because of the aforementioned semiconductor shortage.
GM shared that it has accounted for twelve reported Bolt fires, resulting in three injuries. The US automaker also shared it will not resume any further Bolt production or sales until it is ensured that any and all recall measures rectify the fire risk issue.
As part of the recall, GM may need to replace all of the battery modules on 2017-2022 model year Bolt EVs and EUVs.
Furthermore, it is unclear whether the automaker has the diagnostic software to determine which Chevy vehicles do not need their modules replaced. Due to these issues, it is unclear how long this recall process may take.
For now, all production lines of the Chevy Bolt will remain still until October 15th at the earliest. The stoppage surely puts a huge damper on GM’s EV sales numbers for 2021.
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