General Motors announced Monday that it will replace battery modules in the recalled Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV vehicles as early as next month, now that supplier LG Chem has restarted cell production at two factories in Michigan.
The replacement modules, which are made of lithium-ion battery cells, will begin shipping to dealers as early as mid-October, the company said. Chevy Bolt EV owners will be able to bring their vehicles to the dealership, where old modules will be replaced with new ones.
GM halted production of the Chevy Bolt EV and EUV in August due to a battery shortage linked to the widespread safety recall of the two electric vehicles. The production downtime has been extended twice since then. The batteries of electric vehicles are made up of modules.
The recall, which includes all Chevy Bolt EV and EUV models manufactured since 2017, was issued after the automaker discovered two manufacturing flaws in the battery cell – a torn anode tab and a bent separator – which could increase the risk of fire. The risk of fire prompted GM to recommend that Bolt owners set the vehicle to a 90% state-of-charge limit, avoid depleting the battery below 70 miles of range, and charge the vehicle. vehicle more frequently. GM always recommends that owners park their Bolt EV and EUVs outdoors immediately after charging and not leave charged vehicles indoors overnight.
LG implemented new manufacturing processes and worked with GM to improve their quality assurance programs to help build confidence in their batteries in the future. GM said the battery supplier would institute these new processes at other facilities that supply cells to the automaker.
Doug Parks, GM’s executive vice president of global product development, purchasing and supply chain, noted in a statement that resuming production of battery modules is a first step. However, GM’s Chevy Bolt EV issue is not fully resolved. The company should complete the process of replacing all recalled bolts and assure owners that vehicles can be loaded and parked safely.
GM relies on a new advanced diagnostic package to help it. The company has announced that it will launch the software package, which will need to be installed by resellers, within the next 60 days. Diagnostic software is designed to detect specific anomalies that may indicate a damaged battery in Bolt EV and EUV by monitoring battery performance.
The software will alert customers to any anomalies, according to GM, which has said customers will be able to return to 100 percent state of charge after all diagnostic processes are complete.
GM, which aims to add 30 new electric vehicles to its global lineup by 2030, also needs to secure the battery cells it needs to power those vehicles. LG is its main and long-standing partner in this endeavor. Parks said GM “will continue to work aggressively with LG to secure an additional supply of batteries.