No more battery fires have been reported, but...
What started as a seemingly random vehicle fire last year has turned into a nearly $2 billion, 140,000-vehicle recall and halted production of General Motor's most affordable fully electric vehicle. Not a single Chevrolet Bolt EV or Bolt EUV has been built at GM's Orion Assembly plant in Michigan since August due to defective batteries built by LG Chem.
GM and LG Energy Solution are currently working on a pair of joint-venture battery plants in the US, but the Bolt recall is overshadowing this. Earlier this month, we reported that the production stoppage was going to last through the end of January.
The month prior, GM said it hoped to get things sorted out by the end of 2021. Clearly, that's not going to happen. Reuters has now confirmed GM has extended the Bolt's production shutdown through the end of February.
Sales of new examples remain indefinitely halted. GM has still not provided specific details regarding the investigation's status or the pace at which it's replacing the modules in nearly every Bolt ever made. Newer examples post-refresh, including the Bolt EUV crossover, might not require a completely new battery module but rather a software update.
On the plus side, GM is taking its time to make sure everything is done right. It can't afford not to. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) continues its investigation into the matter. What's interesting is that only a few vehicles caught on fire. This is certainly very serious but GM is fortunate additional units didn't go up in flames.
Until the Bolts are fixed under the recall, GM has created a list of things drivers should not be doing, like parking it in a homeowner's garage. One owner ignored GM's warning and, guess what, they nearly burned down their home. Some airport parking lots have even banned them out of safety concerns.