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Less Than Half of Chevy Bolts Recalled for the Fire Hazard Have Received a New Battery

Chevrolet Bolt has certainly written history for the electric vehicles, and the way GM handled the problem will likely become a case study in the industry. Chevrolet reluctantly agreed to launch a recall and replace the batteries on more than 110,000 Bolt cars, but the operation is still far from concluding.
Less than half of Chevy Bolts recalled for the fire hazard have received a new battery 6 photos
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GM has restarted Chevrolet Bolt production on April 4 as promised, although this is more of a PR stunt than anything else. We are still to see evidence that the Bolt is worth building (and indeed buying, if you’re a customer), although GM’s second-quarter results will reveal this pretty soon. Consider that GM is also preparing to overhaul the Orion Township plant to build the Chevy Silverado and you’ll see that Bolt's prospects do not look good.

When Chevrolet idled Bolt production in August 2021, it did so to prioritize battery replacements for the affected owners. It appears that this does not go very well either, and a recent NHTSA document shows that less than half (26,925 out of 57,414) of the 2017-2019 Chevrolet Bolt vehicles recalled have got a replacement battery until the end of March. Unless the pace speeds up, it will take until October to have all the batteries replaced

The situation is even worse for the cars built for the 2020 model year and beyond, with only 662 battery replacements out of 52,414 vehicles recalled. The replacement rate means there will be nine more months until the work on all these EVs would be completed. This is well into 2023, provided that LGES will continue to supply the “good” batteries in meaningful numbers. Remember that the Korean company has a lot of customers, and with more models and increased production, Bolt recall might not be its highest priority.

These replacement batteries are needed on top of those used in the new Bolt EV and Bolt EUV vehicles, not to mention other GM electric vehicles. GM and LGES have a strong partnership to produce the Ultium batteries for the latest GM electric vehicles. This partly explains why LG agreed to pay $1.9 billion to GM for the recall, future battery production far outweighing the losses incurred by Chevy Bolt’s recall. Hopefully, Ultium batteries will prove more fireproof than those used in the past.


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