General Motors (GM) has stopped production of its electric Chevy Bolt vehicles after it issued a recall of about 140,000 units sold in the country, The Verge reports.
On 20 August, the company recalled all Bolt EV and Bolt EUV models sold from 2017 due to two possible defects in their batteries, including a “torn anode tab and folded separator” that could cause them to catch fire.
GM initially stopped production of the Bolt last week due to the global chip shortage but now expects this hiatus will last until around mid-September, as it waits to get new battery modules from manufacturer LG.
The recall repair process has also been put on hold.
“We will not resume repairs or restart production until we are confident LG is producing defect-free products for us,” GM spokesman Daniel Flores told The Verge.
The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a consumer alert after it became aware of two fires in Bolt EVs that were previously recalled.
“Owners of these vehicles should park their vehicles outside away from homes and other structures immediately after charging and should not leave their vehicles charging overnight, according to General Motors,” NHTSA stated.
GM also recommended temporary remedies to Bolt EV and Bolt EUV owners, including not charging the batteries beyond 90% or driving the vehicles when the remaining range is less than 70 miles (113km).
GM’s Chevy Bolts have been recalled three times, a process that has already cost the company nearly $2 billion (R29.2 billion).
Initially, it only recalled 2017 to 2019 Bolt EV models in November 2020, also after reports of several fires.
In May 2021, it explained it would attempt to prevent more fires by installing new software on both old and new models.
However, this attempted fix did not work, and after two more Bolts caught fire, GM issued a second recall for model years 2017 to 2019 and revealed that it believed there were defects in the battery cells that caused the fires.
The third recall included all Bolt models after GM discovered the batteries in its latest models also had the defects.