GM expands Chevrolet Bolt recall

General Motors said on Friday it was broadening its recall of Chevrolet Bolt electric cars that were at risk of overheating and catching...


General Motors said on Friday it was broadening its recall of Chevrolet Bolt electric cars that were at risk of overheating and catching fire due to manufacturing defects.

The company said she was reminiscent of bolts from model years 2020 to 2022 and a few 2019 bolts that weren’t covered by a previous recall. The move means that the 141,000 bolts produced by GM – dating back to the 2017 model – are being recalled.

The Bolt’s problems are a setback from GM and its chief executive, Mary T. Barra, who is betting heavily that consumers will quickly switch to electric vehicles in the years to come. The company plans to spend $ 35 billion on electric and autonomous vehicles from 2020 to 2025, build four battery factories in the United States and end production of gasoline-powered cars and trucks by 2035.

GM said the move announced Friday would cost the company $ 1 billion on top of the $ 800 million it allocated for previous Bolt recalls. He also said he would seek a refund from his battery supplier, LG Chem.

“In the transition to a fully electric future, we know that building and maintaining trust is essential,” Doug Parks, executive vice president of the automaker, said in a statement. “GM customers can be confident in our commitment to take the necessary steps to keep these vehicles safe. “

The company aims to introduce 30 electric vehicles over the next few years, including 20 in the United States, all using a new modular battery design different from the packs used in the Bolt.

“We really believe that we have a strategy that will allow us to generate higher revenue, operational efficiency and an improved and exceptional customer experience,” Ms. Barra said on a conference call this month. The new battery system, called Ultium, is expected to cost less and allow vehicles to travel further, she said.

“This gives us flexibility and scalability that will allow us to accelerate the electric vehicles that we will bring to market across the portfolio,” added Ms. Barra.

The first model using the new battery system is a GMC Hummer luxury sport utility vehicle expected to go into production soon. It will be followed by a Cadillac Lyriq SUV GM is also working on a battery-powered version of its Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck.

Other automakers are pursuing similar strategies to move away from internal combustion engines. Ford Motor and Volkswagen have both earmarked amounts similar to GM’s for the development of electric vehicles. Ford introduced an electric SUV called Mustang Mach-E and plans to add an electric version of his F-150 pickup truck Next year.

Volkswagen has started selling its own electric SUV, the ID.4 and is ramping up production, starting to build the vehicle at its plant in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Cooling and controlling vehicle battery packs has proven to be a challenge for vehicle manufacturers. The high voltage in batteries generates tremendous heat, and fires usually burn with great intensity and can take hours to extinguish.

Tesla cars caught fire due to overheating of their battery systems. Hyundai recently recalled a small number of Kona electric SUVs to replace batteries.

The extension of the Bolt recall covers 73,000 vehicles, including 60,000 in the United States. A reminder a month ago Covered the 2017-19 models, a total of 68,000 cars, of which approximately 51,000 were in the US market.

Friday’s move is the third fix of last year involving the Bolt. In November, the company offered to add software to address concerns that some of the high-voltage batteries “may present a fire hazard when charged to full capacity or very near full capacity,” according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Two fires have occurred following this recall, including one in a Bolt that had the updated software.

The recalled bolts use batteries made in South Korea by LG Chem, which has formed a joint venture with GM that is building battery plants in Ohio and Tennessee and plans to build more as the automaker deploys new electric models. GM and LG plan to add two more battery factories in the United States, but the locations have not been chosen.

GM and LG Chem have linked the fires to two manufacturing flaws that occur on rare occasions. The companies have found that a short circuit can occur if an anode tab is torn during manufacture and a separator between the battery cells bends. As part of the recall, GM plans to replace faulty battery modules.

LG Chem could not be reached for comment on Friday.

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Newsrust - US Top News: GM expands Chevrolet Bolt recall
GM expands Chevrolet Bolt recall
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