After our article about the promised software fix for the Chevy Bolt EV’s fire risks, General Motors got in touch with InsideEVs to clarify that. According to the company, the Bolt EV does not use the same LG Energy Solution cells the Hyundai Kona Electric has. Although they come from the same supplier, GM stressed that its cells use a different separator.
If you are following this story, you know why GM made sure to point that out. Rumor has it that the issue with the Kona Electric fires has to do with the battery separator. That is a double-edged-sword of an answer: it can either free GM of any similarity with Hyundai’s recall or confirm the separator is not to blame, since both cars still had fire episodes with batteries supplied by the same company, regardless of the separator.
GM said it would not go into the recall's specifics by now and that more information will be shared when the final remedy is rolled out. The plans to have that by April are still up, and the American automaker seems to be pretty confident it will solve the problem.
On Hyundai’s side, the rumors of a voluntary recall plan to replace all involved battery packs is yet to be confirmed. LGES got in touch with InsideEVs to deny that Hyundai or the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport have officially identified the fires' cause.
The investigation is proving to be extremely hard, either on the technical or political and economic senses. The first case of battery fire we have reported happened in Canada on July 26, 2019. Since then, 14 more cases have occurred, one of them right after a temporary fix Hyundai proposed in South Korea. That country alone has seen 11 fires.
Hyundai Kona Electric owners are suing the company for the depreciation the issue has caused on their cars. Chevy Bolt EV owners have not got to that point yet, but they are facing difficulties in reselling their cars, as David Baker told us on January 26, 2021.