Chevy Bolt Battery Supplier LG Chem Settles Cost Issue With GM As Recall Continues: News

bolt ev badge and left rear led taillight of 2019 chevrolet bolt ev
GM is working on getting replacement battery modules out to affected Chevy Bolt owners — addressing a battery fire risk with the original units. (Image: TFLcar)

Chevy Bolt owners should receive notification of replacement battery modules soon, if they haven’t already.

On Tuesday, South Korea-based LG Chem announced it reached a settlement with General Motors to shoulder most of the costs associated with the ongoing Chevy Bolt recall. For its part, GM previously said its dealers should start repairing affected cars this month. Overall, the battery fire risk and the recall — which has been going on since last November, and expanded in August — may cost a total $2 billion. Of that total, LG Chem said it would shoulder at least 1.4 trillion won ($1.2 billion), according to a report in The Korea Times.

UPDATE: GM released a short statement Tuesday saying, “As a result of the agreement, GM will recognize an estimated recovery in its third-quarter earnings that will offset $1.9 billion of $2.0 billion in charges associated with the recalls.”

The Chevy Bolt battery recall affects some 140,000 cars. While the campaign started with older models, it’s since grown to cover every single Bolt GM made since 2017. Those older 2017-2019 model cars will see all its modules replaced, while newer cars should get a thorough inspection and replace defective modules in newer vehicles.

To date, defective battery packs have been blamed for more than a dozen Chevy Bolt fires.

Refresher: Steps to take until your Bolt gets repaired

While LG’s announcement focuses largely on investors and profit impact — reports mention LG shares rose 4% as Korean markets closed Tuesday — the critical point on this Chevy Bolt recall campaign is your safety.

To that end, General Motors has reached out to Bolt owners with guidelines to follow until they can get their car repaired. At present, dealers are also under stop-sale on new Bolts until cars in inventory have been repaired. Here are some steps to follow to hopefully avert the risk of a fire:

  • Set 90% state-of-charge limit using Hilltop Reserve Mode (on 2017-2018 models) or Target Charge Level (2019 and later).
  • Avoid depleting the battery below 70 miles of remaining charge (about 10%), when possible.
  • Park your vehicle outside after charging.
  • Do not charge your vehicle overnight.

GM has also released advanced diagnostics software as a stopgap to address the issue, as it targets replacement modules toward the highest-risk vehicles.

Owners can contact their dealers for more information, or call Chevrolet’s EV Concierge at 1-833-382-4389 with any questions.