The Chevrolet Bolt EV/Chevrolet Bolt EUV production halt at the Orion Assembly plant in Orion Township, Michigan will be extended by another month, to January 28, 2022.

The info was shared by General Motors President Mark Reuss, who said (via Automotive News) that the company is continuing to address the battery recall before resuming series production of new cars.

The production was stopped in August, and was resumed only temporarily for the first two weeks of November to "help optimize battery production and supply chain repair logistics" - or basically provide some replacement cars to the owners affected by the battery recall, as we understand.

We are afraid that the six month pause (between August and February) will not be enough. With roughly 142,000 cars affected by the battery recall, there is a battery deficit of up to over 9 GWh. GM might be forced to repeat the same statement for all of 2022, because there is simply not enough battery modules for all affected cars, which are prioritized over the production of new cars.

While the recall is progressing, the cars that await the new batteries will get a software update, which should ease some of the temporary restrictions.

According to the info posted by GM on November 19, the cars with the new software update will be able to park anywhere and stay indoors overnight, but the state-of-charge limit will be 80%, set automatically, compared to 90% previously.

"As battery module replacements continue under the previously announced recall, Chevrolet has informed owners of 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EVs that it will begin installation of a software update that will allow owners to remove the parking and overnight charging limitations on their vehicles while we work on building replacement battery modules. We expect that this software update will be available for all other Bolt EV and EUV owners in the recall population within approximately the next 30 days.

The new software automatically sets the vehicle’s maximum state of charge to 80%, allowing owners to safely resume:

  • charging indoors overnight;
  • operating below 70 miles (113 km) of range, resulting in greater overall vehicle
  • range compared to GM’s prior interim charging guidance; and
    parking indoors after charging.

This software is not the final recall remedy and owners will be notified when battery modules are available for replacement."

9. Chevrolet Bolt EV
Chevrolet Bolt EV battery cutaway 60 kwh

Chevrolet Bolt EV/EUV battery recall in brief

  • the full battery recall was announced on August 20, 2021
  • cause: manufacturing defects (a torn anode tab and folded separator) in lithium-ion battery cells (pouch type) supplied by LG Chem's LG Energy Solution may lead to a battery fire "in rare circumstances"
    Cells were produced in plants in South Korea and in Michigan
  • fire reports (as of September 16, 2021 via Reuters): 12 and three injuries
  • cars: about 142,000 cars (including about 100,000 in the U.S.)
    all Chevrolet Bolt EV (2017-2022)
    all Chevrolet Bolt EUV (2022)
  • remedy: replacement of battery modules (newer cars) or entire battery packs (early cars) will start in October 2021
    The new batteries will include an extended battery 8-year/100,000-mile limited warranty (or 8-year/160,000 km limited warranty in Canada), whichever comes first.
    production of battery modules was resumed on September 20 and GM announced a new advanced diagnostic software package is coming.
    temporarily recommendation 1 (interim charging guidance): don't charge beyond 90% State of Charge (SOC) or discharge below approximately 70 miles (113 km) of the remaining range (which is close to 30% SOC, assuming roughly 250 miles of EPA range) and keep the vehicles outside.
    temporarily recommendation 2 (November 19, 2021, software update): don't charge beyond 80% State of Charge (SOC), but there will be no discharge or parking restrictions.
  • estimated cost: $2.0 billion (mostly covered by LG companies)
    on average it might be about $12,675 per car (or about $190 per kWh) assuming $1.8 billion
    In October GM announced an agreement with LG on Bolt EV recall costs - "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."
  • estimated battery volume: 9.2-9.4 GWh
  • similar case: Hyundai recall of about 82,000 EVs (including 75,680 Hyundai Kona Electric)
  • production: production of new cars was halted in August 2021
    resumed only for two weeks on November 1-November 15, 2021
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