GM Is Working With LG to Fix Chevy Bolt Batteries
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South Korea’s LG Corp is General Motors (GM) longtime EV partner. Presently, GM is taking a more direct role in tracking and fixing problems linked to battery fires in Chevrolet Bolts.
A massive recall of Chevy Bolt EVs has necessitated this response due to at least a dozen battery fires. The plan is to swap new batteries into Chevy Bolt EVs in October 2021. However, GM is yet to mention when it expects to restart production on the Bolt line of electric cars.
Battery problems cause a recall of 140,000 Chevy Bolts.
GM and LG working on fixing Chevy Bolt batteries
A battery recall issue affected all Chevy Bolt EUVs and EVs. Now, GM has assumed a more direct role with LG Chem’s LG Energy Solution (LGES) in solving the issue.
GM has identified LGES-operated battery plants in Michigan and South Korea as the source of defects behind a rash of battery-related fires in Chevy Bolt EVs. The problem has led to three recalls and the setting aside of $1.8 billion in warranty by GM since November 2020.
Understand that GM has not implemented a hardware fix for the recalls since then. Additionally, LGES and LG Electronics have reiterated their cooperation with GM and are actively working to resolve the battery problems affecting over 140,000 Chevy Bolts.
Battery defects and details on the recalls
According to InsideEVs, GM made a full battery recall announcement in August 2021. The problem was in lithium-ion battery cells supplied by LG Chem’s LGES. The cells had defects including a folded separator and a torn anode tab that could lead to a battery fire.
The estimated cost of fixing the Chevy Bolt’s battery problems is $1.8 billion, however, the total volume of batteries needed for production is approximately 9.2-9.4 GWh. GM also announced that it would pursue reimbursement from LGES.
The automaker intends to replace battery packs or modules with new batteries as a remedy for the problem. However, the only temporary solution that owners of these vehicles can consider is keeping the automobile outside.
Additionally, the automaker advises drivers to keep their Chevy Bolt between 30% and 90% of the battery’s state of charge. Any more or less could put the battery in a position to malfunction.
Similar cases include the Hyundai recall of almost 82,000 EVs, which included 75,680 Hyundai Kona EVs.
How will the issues be resolved?
During an investor conference, GM Chief Financial Officer Paul Jacobson mentioned that LG is working with GM engineers to “clean up the manufacturing process” at LG battery plants and implement some “GM quality metrics.”
The automaker also said that it would replace the entire battery pack in early Bolt models, while newer ones will only have the defective modules within the pack replaced.
Meanwhile, prospective EV buyers and Chevy Bolt owners have unleashed a spate of concerns and complaints on social media at both LG and GM. Of course, the battery fires will impact both companies, but presently, it is unclear how much damage each will sustain.
Acquiring a new automobile attracts several expenses even before a formal recall. That includes insurance costs, and Jerry can help you save on vehicle coverage when you sign up.