LG Resumes Battery Production for Chevy Bolt
GM's third Chevrolet Bolt recall in nine months to address a battery issue taxed its relationship with supplier LG, and as recently as late August, it was unclear which of the two corporate giants would be footing the bill for part or all of the replacement costs. However, whatever discussion the pair had over finances appears to have mended the fence enough to move forward, as GM has announced that LG battery production has resumed.
The LG battery production facilities in Holland and Hazel Park, MI, have resumed operations, and the company is expanding its production capacity to provide more cells to GM. LG expects to start shipping batteries to dealers as early as mid-October.
The Bolt battery fiasco is due to a pair of manufacturing defects that can be present in the same battery cell. If both a torn anode and a folded separator are present, there is an elevated fire risk. To avoid issues in the future, LG has implemented new processes and worked with GM on quality assurance. Other facilities providing batteries to GM in the future will undergo the same process change.
GM believes that batteries manufactured during specific date ranges are most at risk for defects. The company says it will prioritize battery replacements for Bolt and Bolt EUV owners whose cars carry batteries from those periods. GM will notify owners when new batteries become available, and all new batteries have an extended 8-year/100,000-mile warranty.
Along with battery replacements, GM is launching a new diagnostic software package that will help it prioritize the batteries that most quickly need replacement. The automaker designed the software to detect abnormalities that could indicate a damaged battery and alert owners to the problem. The software will then send a notice to GM if there's a problem. The software will allow owners to fully charge the vehicle beyond GM's current safety limitations and guidance if no issues are detected.
While owners wait on battery replacements, GM has issued a list of workarounds to prevent damage to other cars and structures. Last week, the automaker issued updated parking guidance for Bolt owners to park on the top floors of garages and at least 50 feet away from other vehicles. With today's battery announcement, GM further revised its parking instructions. Assuming owners have taken a few precautionary steps, they can park where they want. However, the automaker advises to still leave plenty of distance to other vehicles out of an abundance of caution.
General Motors is the source of information for this article. It was accurate on September 20, 2021, but it may have changed since that date.