GM’s recall of EV Bolt over fires sidelines production at Michigan plant until Nov. 1

The Vermont State Police released this photo of the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV that caught fire on July 1, 2021 in the driveway of state Rep. Timothy Briglin, a Democrat.
Vermont State Police

DETROIT – General Motors‘ recall of Chevrolet Bolt EVs are continuing to sideline production of the car.

The company has idled manufacturing at a Michigan plant since Aug. 23 so it can focus on building battery modules needed for the recalled vehicles. The company said Wednesday that it’s extending downtime on the Bolt at the Orion Assembly plant in suburban Detroit by two more weeks to Nov. 1.

Manufacturing defects have caused at least 13 Bolts – the company’s flagship mainstream EV – to spontaneously catch fire, leading GM to recall every one of the electric cars since production began in 2016.

The manufacturing problems occurred at LG Battery Solution’s plants in South Korea and Michigan. The “rare manufacturing defects” in the Bolt EVs are a torn anode tab and folded separator that when present in the same battery cell increase the risk of fire, according to GM.

The automaker’s battery supplier, LG Chem, started shipping replacement modules for battery packs for more than 140,000 Bolt EVs earlier this month.

GM on Tuesday announced the automaker and LG have reached an agreement for the battery supplier to reimburse the automaker for the recall costs. As a result of the agreement, GM will recognize an estimated recovery in the third-quarter that will offset $1.9 billion of $2.0 billion in charges associated with the recalls.

Separately, GM on Wednesday said production of Chevrolet Equinox at Ramos Assembly in Mexico will take an additional three weeks of downtime due to the global shortage of semiconductors through the week of Nov. 15.

Production of Chevrolet Equinox in Mexico has been down since Aug. 16, while assembly of the Chevrolet Blazer that’s produced at the plant is expected to restart next week.

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