GM extends shutdown of Bolt EV plant amid recall and battery fires

Signage stands on screen outdoors the Typical Motors Co. Orion Assembly plant in Orion Township, Michigan, U.S., on Friday, March 22, 2019.

Jeff Kowalsky | Bloomberg | Getty Images

DETROIT — General Motors is extending downtime at a Michigan plant that makes its Chevrolet Bolt EV as it works with battery supplier LG Chem to resolve production problems that induce some automobiles to capture fire, leading to a significant remember to fix the problem.

The Detroit automaker Thursday said Orion Assembly will be down the weeks of Sept. 13 and Sept. 20. The plant has been shuttered due to the fact Aug. 23 as a final result of a battery pack scarcity connected to the recall.

A GM spokesman Thursday verified officers proceed to get the job done with LG Chem to rectify the challenges and improve output of the new modules for the battery packs.

The manufacturing issues occurred at LG Battery Solution’s vegetation in South Korea and Michigan. GM claimed the issues require two “exceptional producing problems” — a torn anode tab and folded separator — that when present in the exact battery cell enhance the possibility of hearth.

GM has confirmed fires in at the very least 12 motor vehicles. The automaker asked owners last thirty day period to alter settings on the vehicles to decrease the hearth danger as element of the remember. A single of the most latest fires reportedly transpired last week involving a 2017 Bolt EV that was parked in Sacramento, California. 

GM previous thirty day period expanded an initial recall of decide on product yrs to all Bolt EVs, like a just lately released much larger version of the motor vehicle identified as the Bolt EUV. The automaker expects to shell out about $1.8 billion to exchange most likely defective battery modules in the automobiles.

GM explained it is pursuing reimbursement commitments from LG Chem.

The Vermont State Law enforcement launched this image 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 Law enforcement

The further downtime at Orion Assembly was integrated as section of a production update Thursday by GM relating to the ongoing shortage of semiconductor chips. The elements scarcity has brought on automakers to sporadically slash vehicle generation globally all through this 12 months.

As part of the update, GM confirmed generation of its whole-measurement pickups will return to standard next week following a 7 days of downtime. It also prolonged beforehand declared downtimes at plants in Michigan, Missouri and Mexico, whilst confirming ideas to restart manufacturing at other amenities later this thirty day period.

GM expects the sections issue to cut its North American motor vehicle output by about 100,000 vehicles during the next 50 percent of the yr when compared with the first 6 months. The corporation does not launch manufacturing facts, but it sold about 1.3 million vehicles for the duration of the initial 50 percent of the calendar year in North America.