GM is recalling all Chevy Bolt electric vehicles sold worldwide due to fire hazard


General Motors said Friday it is recalling all Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles sold worldwide to fix a battery issue that could cause fire.

The recall and others raise questions about lithium-ion batteries, which are now used in almost all electric vehicles. Ford, BMW and Hyundai recently recalled all batteries.

President Joe Biden will need electric vehicles to meet the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by mid-2030 as part of a wider effort to combat climate change.

GM’s recall announced on Friday adds about 73,000 screws from 2019-2022 model years to an earlier recall of 69,000 older screws.

GM said that on rare occasions, the batteries have two manufacturing defects that can cause fires.

The Detroit-based automaker said it will replace battery modules in all vehicles. In older versions, all five modules are replaced.

The most recent recall will cost the company approximately $ 1 billion, bringing the total cost of the Bolt battery recalls to $ 1.8 billion.

According to GM, owners should limit charging to 90 percent of the battery capacity. The bolts, including a new SUV, should also be parked outdoors until the modules are replaced.

The original recall was attributed to a manufacturing defect at a South Korean factory owned by LG Chemical Solution, GM’s battery supplier. However, the company said an investigation found the defects could be in batteries manufactured in other locations. Most newer bolt batteries are made at an LG facility in Holland, Michigan.

GM issued the first Bolt recall in November after reports of five of them caught fire. Two people suffered smoke inhalation and a house was set on fire.

At first, the company didn’t know what was causing the problem, but found that the batteries that caught fire were almost fully charged. It attributed the fires to a rare manufacturing defect in battery modules. It can cause a short circuit in a cell, which can start a fire.

GM said it began investigating the newer bolts after a 2019 model not included in the previous recall caught fire in Chandler, Arizona a few weeks ago. That raised concerns about newer bolts.

The fire brought the total number of bolt fires to 10, said company spokesman Dan Flores.

GM says it is working with LG to increase battery production. The company says owners will be notified to take their cars to dealerships as soon as parts become available.

Flores said he wasn’t sure when that would be.

The company said it would not produce or sell any more bolts until it is satisfied that issues with LG batteries have been fixed, Flores said.

“Our focus on safety and doing what’s right for our customers guides every decision we make at GM,” said Doug Parks, GM’s chief product development officer, in a statement.

Batteries with the new modules come with an eight-year guarantee of 100,000 miles (160 kilometers), the company said. GM will replace all five battery modules with bolts from 2017 to 2019. Defective modules are replaced in newer models.

GM said it would initiate a refund from LG.

The bolts are just a tiny fraction of GM’s total US sales, which run nearly 3 million vehicles in a typical year. But they’re the first in an ambitious electric model launch as GM seeks to sell only electric cars by 2035.

Other automakers are announcing more electric models around the world to reduce pollution and meet stricter government fuel consumption standards.

General Motors shares fell about 2 percent in expanded trading following the announcement of the recall.


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