General Motors will begin repairing batteries in more than 140,000 recalled EV and EUV Chevrolet Bolts from mid-October.
The 2017-19 model year BoltEVs will receive five new battery modules, essentially one upgraded battery.
For the 2020-22 models, they will also receive all new modules, unless GM can complete development of software that will allow it to identify if they have any faulty modules to replace.
GM battery maker LG Chem restarted production at LG factories in the Netherlands, Michigan and Hazel Park on Monday. They’ve been down since August, but GM spokesman Kevin Kelly didn’t know the exact dates.
LG is also adding capacity to factories so they can manufacture more cells as GM needs, Kelly said. As a result, replacement battery modules will begin shipping to dealers in mid-October.
We appreciate the patience of owners and dealers as we work to find solutions to this recall, said Doug Parks, GM’s executive vice president for global product development, purchasing and supply chain. . Resuming production of battery modules is a first step and continuing to work aggressively with LG to secure additional battery supply. “
GM, halted production of Bolt EVs and EUVs at the Orion assembly plant on August 23. It is scheduled to continue through the week of October 11, and Kelly said, “Well, keep monitoring the situation for when to bring the factory back upstairs.
In August, GM extended its second Bolt recall to include the 2017-22 model year Bolt EVs and the new EUV, an all-electric compact SUV.
GM and LG confirmed the root cause of the reported battery fires on Monday: two manufacturing defects known as the torn anode and bent separator, both of which must be present in the same battery cell for a fire to occur. occur. GM has so far confirmed that 13Bolts have caught fire while parked, causing three injuries. Eleven of these fires have occurred in the United States
To assure Bolt owners of this fix, LG implemented new manufacturing processes and worked with GM to review and improve their quality assurance programs. LG will institute these new processes at LG’s South Korean facility, which will supply cells to GM, in the future.
Additionally, GM will begin launching a new advanced diagnostic package within the next 60 days that will reduce inconvenience to customers while their battery module is repaired.
This software will detect specific anomalies that could indicate a damaged battery in Bolt EV and EUV by monitoring battery performance; alert customers to any abnormalities and prioritize damaged battery modules for replacement. Once the diagnostic software is installed and the diagnostic processes are complete, Bolt owners can return to a 100% state of charge.
This new software, which will be provided to all Bolt EV and EUV owners, requires dealer installation, which can be scheduled from 60 days. But these customers will still need to complete the new battery modules at some point.
“We were optimistic that new advanced diagnostic software will provide more convenience to our customers,” Parks said.
GM will prioritize Bolt EV and EUV customers whose batteries were manufactured during specific construction periods where GM believes battery faults appear to be clustered.
“We know the timelines, but we don’t share them publicly,” GM spokesman Dan Flores said.
GM has a notification process that will notify affected customers when their replacement modules become available.
GM has also updated its parking instructions for Bolt owners after saying last week not to park parking structures and to park 50 feet from other vehicles. Kelly said if customers follow GM’s safety instructions, they can park wherever they want, even in parking structures.
“But leave enough space, it doesn’t have to be 50 feet, but enough space between vehicles,” Kelly said, adding that GM was not aware of any fires that had occurred. where customers have followed these safety guidelines, in parking lots or otherwise.
As a reminder, here are GM’s safety instructions:
- Keep the car only 90% charged.
- Avoid depleting the battery below a range of at least 70 miles.
- Do not park the car in a garage and do not charge it overnight.
Many owners have told Free Press that they want GM will buy back its cars, stating that they no longer feel safe driving them. But GM said it bought Bolts on a case-by-case basis.
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