Chevrolet in Bigger Mess With Bolt EV, Production Halt Extended Through End of February

 GM announced the production halt at its Orion Assembly plant in Michigan will extend through February 6 photos
Photo: GM
2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV Catches Fire in Canton, GeorgiaChevrolet Bolt EV FireChevrolet Bolt EV FireChevrolet Bolt EV FireChevrolet Bolt EV Battery Pack
General Motor extends the production halt at its Orion Assembly plant in Michigan where the ill-fated Chevrolet Bolt EV was produced. It won’t be until March next year that the Bolt EV will be built again in Michigan, after production was halted in August.
The Chevrolet Bolt’s sad story is another proof the big automakers could fail big time. Confronted with several battery fire reports as early as 2019, Chevrolet only acknowledged the problem a year later when it started an investigation. Even then, the solution offered was only a software update to limit the battery capacity and a recommendation to not fully charge the battery.

Of course, when cars continued to catch fire even after the fix was applied, Chevrolet had to take further action. But the next recall was delayed until August this year, with GM finally acknowledging the batteries are defective and need to be replaced. The Chevy Bolt’s production lines have been idle ever since and the defect will cost over $2 billion to fix, even though the bill was passed to the Korean battery supplier LG Energy Solution.

The number of the affected cars would’ve been smaller had Chevrolet acted sooner on the matter. It’s not just the cost of the battery replacements that matters, but also the bad reputation the Chevy Bolt and even Chevrolet as a brand have now. This might put the final nail in the coffin for the car that was once hailed as the “Tesla killer.”

General Motors has announced it will extend the production halt at Bolt’s factory through the end of February 2022, so we’ll have to add the costs of the lost production to the fattening bill of the Chevrolet Bolt’s recall. This means the Bolt’s production halt at the Orion Assembly plant in Michigan will last for at least five months now, which is a catastrophe for any carmaker.

Chevrolet widened the Bolt’s recall in August to more than 140,000 vehicles that need new batteries and stopped retail sales of the car. The company said it will continue to prioritize recall repairs and “focus on battery module replacements,” according to Reuters.
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About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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