GM to Restart Chevy Bolt Factory After Battery Fire Recalls

GM to Restart Chevy Bolt Factory After Battery Fire Recalls
The company logo shines off the nose of a Bolt electric vehicle on display in front of a Chevrolet dealership in Englewood, Colo, on Sept. 12, 2021. (David Zalubowski/AP Photo)
The Associated Press

DETROIT—General Motors says it will start making Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles again in early April after an eight-month pause due to a series of battery fire recalls.

The automaker says Tuesday that battery supplier LG Energy Solution is now making enough to supply replacement modules for the recalls as well as to resume production.

The company will start making hatchback and SUV versions of the Bolt on April 4, and those should start reaching dealers a few weeks later. Vehicles on dealer lots at the time of the recalls can be sold once battery modules are replaced.

In August GM expanded a previous recall to more than 140,000 Bolts sold worldwide since 2016 because battery manufacturing defects could cause the vehicles to catch fire.

The company said at the time that in rare cases, batteries that have two manufacturing defects can cause fires even when parked.

The recall follows reports of 13 battery fires, GM said, which can occur when both defects are present in the battery modules.

In October LG agreed to reimburse GM $2 billion for the recall costs, and the company remains in a joint venture with the company to build batteries for its next generation of electric vehicles.

The battery fires and recalls have been an embarrassing setback for GM, which has lofty goals of switching from internal combustion to battery powered vehicles.

To capture U.S. electric vehicle market share leadership, GM plans to spend $35 billion to roll out more than 30 new battery vehicles globally by 2025. The company has said it aspires to make only electric passenger vehicles by 2035.

By the end of the decade, GM expects $90 billion in additional annual revenue from electric vehicles.