Basic Motors gained’t construct any new Chevy Bolt EVs till at the least the tip of January 2022. The automaker will as an alternative keep targeted on making substitute batteries for the 140,000-plus Bolts that have been recalled earlier this yr after a sequence of fires.
The Bolt manufacturing line at GM’s Orion meeting plant in Michigan will stay shut down “through the week of Jan. 24, 2022,” the corporate stated in an announcement Thursday. “We will continue to inform employees at the appropriate time of any additional production schedule adjustments, as we continue to focus on battery module replacements.”
GM had already stated that it wasn’t going to make any extra Bolts for the remainder of this yr, although Thursday’s announcement put a extra advantageous date on issues. Nevertheless it’s very attainable the shutdown will proceed past then given how the recall has gone up to now. Both means, it leaves GM in a bizarre spot the place it’s being praised by President Biden for “leading the world in electric vehicles” whereas not at present promoting any within the US. (The Bolt is the one EV the corporate at present has to supply stateside, at the least till new automobiles just like the GMC Hummer EV, Cadillac Lyriq, and others begin to ship within the subsequent few months.)
GM initially recalled 2017–2019 mannequin yr Chevy Bolts in November 2020 following a number of reported fires. In Could of this yr, it introduced a plan to place new software program on these older Bolts (and the brand new 2022 variations that launched this yr) that was supposed to assist forestall fires from taking place. However that software program didn’t work, and so GM issued one other recall in July. After a more moderen mannequin yr Bolt caught fireplace in August, GM recalled all Bolt EVs ever made and stopped manufacturing.
Each GM and LG, its provider, have been working to provide defect-free batteries since September, and the automaker has been swapping these into Bolts since October. LG is paying GM round $2 billion to cowl the price of the recall. GM made a small variety of Bolts with the brand new batteries in early November for use as loaners for purchasers affected by the recall.