All Chevrolet Bolt cars get new batteries

All bolts get new batteries. (Photo: General Motors)

All Bolt models sold must be returned to the workshop. Since many electric cars catch fire while charging, General Motors (GM) now wants to replace all the batteries.

All Chevrolet Bolt model lines are recallable. After ten screws caught fire during shipping and other forms of troubleshooting did not seem to lead to sustainable prospects, GM has now decided, out of “utmost caution,” to physically replace the hardware.

More than 140,000 Chevrolet Bolt must go to the workshop

This also applies to units sold internationally and all Stromers delivered from 2017 through the current model series. This means that a total of 142,000 bolts and about 1,500 Opel Ampera-E, which are largely identical to the Bolt, will receive brand new batteries.

The issue of burning batteries has been burning since November 2020. At that time, GM only ordered the series from 2017 to 2019 – 69,000 cars – in workshops. There they received a software update that limited the battery content to 90 percent. Additionally, Bolt users have recommended that vehicles not drive below the 25 percent capacity threshold.

At this point, the cause of the problem was unknown. General Motors only managed to identify the problem with its South Korean supplier LG Chem this year. It is said that defects have been found in individual battery cells, which in extreme cases can lead to batteries spontaneously igniting. The flat conductor on the anode and the separator layer of affected cells are said to be defective.

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Defective cells from several plants make GM turn around

First, General Motors installed another software update in May and announced another recall for the summer, in which cars must be checked for defective cells. The decision now to replace absolutely all batteries was made by General Motors under the impression that the defective cells were delivered not only from the factory in South Korea, but also from the LG Chem plant in the USA.

This makes it really expensive for the manufacturer again. GM had already set the cost of the first recall at $800 million. For the upcoming action, GM expects additional costs of about $1 billion. Customers must receive an eight-year or 160,000-kilometer warranty on replaced batteries.

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