GM is prioritizing replacing batteries in over 140,000 Bolts.
General Motors has been working frantically to replace the batteries in the Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV and get production back on track. As we all know, reports of Chevrolet Bolt EVs unexpectedly catching fire prompted GM to issue a massive and hugely expensive recall expected to cost $2 billion, $1.9 billion of which will be covered by LG Chem.
Unsurprisingly, this has damaged the Bolt EV's reputation and consumer confidence, even prompting airports to ban Bolt EV owners from parking there in case the car catches fire. In the meantime, production of the Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV was halted in August as GM works around the clock to replace the faulty batteries.
Production eventually restarted on November 1, but this only lasted two weeks. Production was supposed to restart again on December 6, but GM has confirmed to The Detroit News that this will not happen. In fact, production of the Bolt EV and EUV will be shut down for the "remainder of the 2021 calendar year" as GM is prioritizing battery production to replace the modules in the more than140,000 recalled Bolts at risk of catching fire.
"GM has notified employees at Orion Assembly the plant will take downtime for the remainder of the 2021 calendar year," a GM spokesman said in a statement.
"This decision will enable us to continue prioritizing recall repairs. We will continue to inform employees at the appropriate time of any additional production schedule adjustments in early 2022, as we continue to focus on battery module replacements."
Since September, GM has been working with LG Chem to produce new batteries as replacements for existing customer cars. Each replacement battery pack comes with an eight-year or 100,000-mile warranty and feature revised chemistry. In the meantime, GM has been advising owners who haven't had their Bolt battery replaced to park their vehicles outside and not to let the battery's charge run below or above a specified amount. However, this parking restriction will no longer be necessary soon as a software update is rolling out that prevents the Bolt EV from charging beyond 80 percent.