Chevy Bolt Plant Shutdown Extended As GM, LG Chem Work Out Recall Fix: News

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV
(Images: Chevrolet)

Battery issues led GM to recall more than 140,000 Bolt and Bolt EUV models.

On Thursday, General Motors announced it would extend the production shutdown at its Orion Assembly Plant for two weeks, as reported by Reuters. The extension isn’t down to the ongoing semiconductor shortage — a problem that knocked out several North American plants through early September — but instead it’s a result of a recall for its electric Chevrolet Bolt.

The recall widened in late August to cover every Bolt produced since the model originally launched in 2017. Multiple battery fires spurred on the original recall campaign in November 2020, and since then GM urged Bolt owners not to charge their vehicles beyond 90% capacity as a temporary solution. To date, the problem has cost the automaker nearly $1 billion. With 140,000 vehicles needing replacement units, that cost is set to balloon far beyond that figure — a sum which the company also said it would seek reimbursement from LG Chem, the car’s battery supplier.

As of right now, GM also announced it would not move forward on manufacturing new Bolts until it was confident the replacement packs are indeed safe. It also won’t replace modules in existing bolts until LG Chem can prove the new units are free from the defects that caused the spate of fires in the first place.

The current stoppage for the Orion plant extends through the end of September. Depending on whether LG Chem can address the problem to General Motors’ satisfaction, that downtime may extend into November and beyond.

Other plants shut down from the semiconductor shortage will go back online over the next couple weeks. That includes GM’s Fort Wayne, Indiana and Silao, Mexico plants building full-size trucks, both of which will run at full production next week. The Lansing Delta Township, Wentzville and Ramos Arizpe plants will extend their shutdowns one additional week.