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Monday, October 18, 2021

GM says defect-free Bolt batteries are in manufacturing

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Normal Motors mentioned Monday that it’ll begin swapping new batteries into Chevy Bolt EVs in October in response to at the least a dozen fires that triggered a large recall. GM didn’t say when it’ll restart production of brand new versions of the electrical automotive.

The information comes as LG is as soon as once more making batteries for the Bolt after stopping in August. GM says it labored intently with the South Korean conglomerate to verify the brand new cells are freed from defects which have led to at lest a dozen fires within the automaker’s electrical car and a massive recall.

Homeowners of older Bolts (mannequin years 2017 to 2019) can have all of the modules of their battery packs swapped for brand spanking new ones. Homeowners of newer fashions might solely get particular person modules modified out, GM mentioned.

GM mentioned Monday that it’ll even have sellers begin putting in new diagnostic software program on Bolts within the subsequent 60 days. The software program will regularly scan the battery packs for indicators of defects. If none are discovered, the software program will finally enable homeowners to as soon as once more cost their autos to 100%, and abandon among the different security pointers GM has put in place whereas it labored out the recall.

The preliminary repair for the recall, announced in May, concerned an earlier model of this diagnostic software program, although at the least two autos that acquired it nonetheless caught fireplace. GM didn’t go into a lot element Monday about how this new software program differs.

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Within the meantime, Bolt homeowners are presupposed to proceed adhering to that steering. GM says homeowners ought to park exterior and away from their houses after charging, and that they need to not cost their autos indoors in a single day. Homeowners shouldn’t cost their Bolts past 90 %, and keep away from depleting the battery beneath 70 miles of remaining vary.

GM made one minor tweak to its steering, although. So long as they observe the above pointers, GM says homeowners want solely depart “ample area” between their Bolt and different autos, as a substitute 50 toes because it not too long ago suggested. It didn’t outline “ample,” although.

GM first issued a recall for the the sooner fashions of the Bolt in November 2020 after a handful of fires. However it wasn’t till July of this 12 months that it introduced what the problem was. In uncommon {cases}, some cells that LG made had two totally different defects — a torn anode and a folded separator — that, when mixed, made it doable for a Bolt’s battery pack to catch fireplace whereas charging.

LG shut down manufacturing of the cells in August, round when GM determined to recall all mannequin years of the Bolt. GM mentioned Monday that manufacturing resumed at two places it runs with LG in Michigan, however that factories in South Korea have been nonetheless not again on-line.

The recall has already value GM some $2 billion. The automaker has mentioned it intends to recoup some or most of that quantity from LG — although the 2 firms are working collectively on GM’s next-generation Ultium batteries, and can function a number of new battery factories within the US.

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