GM issues fix for fire-risk Bolts; defect blamed on LG Chem batteries made in South Korea

Rodolfo Schellin

DETROIT — Almost 6 months soon after NHTSA launched an investigation into pick out Chevrolet Bolts for catching fireplace, Basic Motors has made a option, the automaker mentioned Thursday.

On Nov. thirteen, about a month soon after NHTSA announced the investigation, GM recalled 68,667 Bolts from the 2017 to 2019 model decades. Of the recalled Bolts, fifty,925 ended up offered in the U.S.

Due to the fact then, dealers have been not able to sell the impacted vehicles to buyers, trade the Bolts with other dealers or send the vehicles to auctions.

GM thinks the bring about of 5 regarded fires is similar to a uncommon production defect in the production of the battery cells by LG Chem in South Korea, mentioned spokesman Dan Flores. The defect could result in a heat source or a quick in a cell, which could bring about a fireplace, he mentioned.

Sellers will use a GM-made diagnostic instrument to determine opportunity battery anomalies and switch battery module assemblies as necessary, GM mentioned in a statement. Sellers will also set up innovative on-board diagnostic computer software that can detect opportunity problems similar to modifications in battery module efficiency ahead of issues happen, GM mentioned.

The cure will be readily available for proprietors of 2019 Bolts setting up Thursday. Proprietors of 2017 and 2018 Bolts will be eligible for the repair by the stop of May well, GM mentioned.

The automaker will also make the innovative diagnostic computer software readily available to all other Bolt proprietors in the coming months. The computer software will be normal in the 2022 Bolt EV and EUV, together with foreseeable future GM electric vehicles.

In November, GM mentioned it experienced identified 5 Bolt fires, potentially similar to high-voltage batteries produced by LG Chem in South Korea. In each individual of the 5 verified cases, the batteries ended up at or close to their maximum demand.

Bolts built for the 2017 and 2018 model decades utilised the LG Chem batteries manufactured in South Korea. For the 2019 model year, some Bolts ended up built with the Korean batteries, though other individuals utilised LG Chem batteries manufactured in Holland, Mich. GM mentioned Bolts built with the Michigan batteries ended up not impacted.

GM mentioned 2020 Bolts are not impacted since they ended up built with a various battery chemistry that improved range. All Bolts are driven by GM’s previous-generation battery architecture, not the proprietary Ultium battery that will energy its foreseeable future EV lineup, which includes the GMC Hummer pickup and SUV, Cadillac Lyriq and Chevrolet Silverado EV.

In November, as a short term option, GM advised buyers who have a 2017 or 2018 Bolt to push working with Hilltop Reserve method until a computer software update is readily available. It advised that proprietors of 2019 versions established their battery demand to a maximum of 90 {7e488363c11ee5ef50445c8c4fa770b6e6e4f99e57faea264a05ac52abb3ffe0}.

The moment dealers incorporate the diagnostic computer software, they will get rid of the 90 {7e488363c11ee5ef50445c8c4fa770b6e6e4f99e57faea264a05ac52abb3ffe0} demand limitation and return the battery to its full charging functionality, GM mentioned.

GM repurchased Bolts from some buyers for the duration of the recall period, but the automaker would not disclose the range of proprietors approved for a repurchase.

“For buyers that have demanded a repurchase, we address those people on a case-by-case basis,” mentioned Flores.

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