This latest announcement adds to the frustration.
The Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV have not been having a good time lately. Because of a battery module defect, the pair of EVs could potentially catch on fire. GM and battery maker LG Chem have been working overtime to find and fix the cause. The automaker thought it resolved the problem. Only it didn't and owners were asked not to park in their garages, among other things.
It was later determined that all batteries had to be replaced at a cost of $2 billion for the massive recall. LG is paying $1.9 billion of that. All the while, Bolt production at GM's Orion Assembly Plant has been halted since August 23.
A restart date was never announced. GM has now confirmed it won't restart production until it's fixed 140,000 Bolt EVs and EUVs. "Downtime is being extended to include the weeks of Oct. 18 and Oct. 25 to continue to work with our supplier to accelerate production of new battery modules and prioritize recall repairs," a GM spokesperson said.
Beginning later this month, 2017-2019 model year Bolts will receive new battery modules and an eight-year or 100,000-mile warranty for the new battery pack. The 2020-2022 models are also due to receive new modules though GM is still hoping to develop software to help it pinpoint only vehicles with defective modules.
The Bolt EV fire debacle began last year when GM issued the first recall. Unfortunately, the fix did not work. The second recall was announced in July and in August the decision was made to replace all battery modules.
There have been 13 fires so far due to two defects: folded separators and torn anode tabs. LG Chem's manufacturing process has been a key focus in uncovering what went wrong. It's very important GM gets this recall done correctly. Rushing it could make things worse, but so could moving too slow. It's not a comfortable situation to be in, but it is what it is. The automaker aims to build electric vehicles only beginning in 2035 and it's not good when its first series production EV is fire-prone.