General Motors Could Lose $1.8 Billion Over the Chevy Bolt Recalls

Where wondering if General Motors is at risk of going down with the ship due to the Chevy Bolt recalls. The recalls for Chevy Bolt EV models keep expanding, creating a more expensive problem for GM worldwide. 

General Motors could lose over $1.8 billion due to the Chevy Bolt recalls 

The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV is one of the best electric cars and SUVs you can buy
The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV is one of the best electric cars and SUVs you can buy under $35k

General Motors has issued a recall for Chevy Bolt EV models three times now. The recalls have occurred during the past nine months because their batteries will catch on fire. On that note, please don’t park your EV inside or under a cover. They could ignite the structure or your home. 

Also, GM recommends that you don’t charge the vehicles overnight and only charge the batteries to 90 percent. This comes after two cars that were repaired during the earlier recall. This issue is so severe that GM recalls all Bolt electric vehicles sold worldwide.

The latest recall will cost General Motors about $1 billion, bringing the total cost to the Bolt battery recalls to $1.8 billion. But GM is calling on LG Energy Solution for help, as they may have had a role in the problem. 

What is the Bolt EV problem? 

The General Motors recalls cover the 2017 – 2022 Chevy Bolt EV and Bolt EUV models due to two battery defects in a single cell. It’s described as a torn anode tab and folded separator. A previous software update was meant to correct the issue. 

It limited the batteries’ charging capacity to 90 percent in an attempt to prevent more fires. The software could also detect potential issues related to the changes in the battery model performance before problems developed. 

But this didn’t do the trick. The battery modules need to be replaced in 73.000 Bolts sold in 2019 – 2022 and 69,000 older Bolt models. The 60.0 kWh lithium-ion battery pack can ignite under the passenger seat, causing the entire vehicle to go up in flames. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has identified five fires and two injuries related to this problem. One injury was caused by smoke inhalation, and one report shared that the fire spread from the Bolt to home. 

Should LG help General Motors with the tab? 

The battery information screen in a 2017 Chevy Bolt EV
The battery information screen in a 2017 Chevy Bolt EV | Joanne Rathe/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The batteries in the Chevy Bolt EV models came from LG. According to GM spokesman Dan Flores, General Motors initially found that the battery module issues were confined to the LG plant in Ochang. 

But as they continue to analyze battery models and perform physical teardowns of battery packs, they are finding issues from other production lines. LG shared that it’s actively working to ensure that recall measures are carried out smoothly. 

The root cause of this issue is being carried out with an investigation by GM, LE electronics, and LG Energy Solution. However, it’s unclear who will foot the bill. The expenses will be divided up based on the results of the joint investigation. 

As General Motors plans to only sell zero-emission vehicles by 2035, it probably doesn’t want to lose such a massive customer. LG and GM have also started constructing two battery factories together in Ohio and Tennessee. 

The two need to work together on this Chevy Bolt problem, but we have to wait and see how the investigation goes. Until then, park your Chevy Bolt EV or EUV away from your home and only charge it to 90 percent. 

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