GM expands battery fire-induced recall to include all Chevrolet Bolt EVs & EUVs
Automobile manufacturer General Motors (GM) has announced a voluntary expansion of the battery fire risk-related recall of the Chevrolet Bolt EV to cover the remaining 2019 and all 2020-2022 trims of electric car, including the new Bolt EUV. The inclusion of the remaining models in the recall means that all units of the Chevrolet Bolt EV produced with model year of 2017 to 2022 as well as the all-new Chevrolet Bolt EUV (2022) are being recalled by the manufacturer to address the issue that could cause battery fire.
According to available information, all battery modules inside the battery packs of the aforementioned EVs will be replaced with new ones free of cost.
More than dozen battery fire cases involving the Chevrolet Bolt EV have already been reported. Luckily, no injury related to the battery fire has been reports thus far. GM believes that two manufacturing defect might be the cause of the reason for battery fires in rare circumstances.
In a recently issued statement, GM said, “In rare circumstances, the batteries supplied to GM for these vehicles may have two manufacturing defects – a torn anode tab and folded separator – present in the same battery cell, which increases the risk of fire. Out of an abundance of caution, GM will replace defective battery modules in Chevrolet Bolt EVs and EUVs with new modules.”
The problematic battery cell modules were supplied by LG Chemicals’ LG Energy Solution. According to GM’s statement, the battery cells were produced at LG Energy’s manufacturing facilities beyond the Ochang plant in Korea.
The scale of Bolt EV recall issued by GM is much larger than that of Hyundai. Initially, the manufacturer had reported that the new batteries would be installed in as many as 69,000 units of Bolt EV (2017-19); including nearly 51,000 units sold in the U.S. market. After the expansion of the recall, 73,018 additional units of the electric car will be recalled. The massive recall includes 59,392 units in the U.S., 10,231 units in Canada and 3,395 units in other markets.
The Detroit, Michigan-headquartered automobile giant will not charge even a single penny from customers for replacing defective battery modules but the recall will burn a hole of approximately $1 billion in the manufacturer’s pocket. It would be on top of the previously allocated amount of $800 million. It means, the expansion of the recall will cost the manufacturer $1.8 billion total.
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