GM and LG working round-the-clock on Bolt EV battery recall

General Motors “playing a more direct role” With LG Chem’s LG Energy Solution, solving the massive battery recall problem that affects all Chevrolet Bolt EV and Chevrolet Bolt EUV electric cars and paralyzes production.

According to GM’s representatives (via) ReutersBoth the companies are working round the clock to detect and fix the problems.

At an investor conference Friday, GM Chief Financial Officer Paul Jacobson said LG is working with GM engineers to “clean up the manufacturing process” and implement some “GM quality metrics” at LG battery plants. .

“The experts at GM and LG continue to work round-the-clock on the issues,” GM spokesman Dan Flores said Thursday. “We are determined to do the right thing for our customers and solve the problem forever. Once we are confident that LG can provide us with good battery modules, we can start repairs as soon as possible. Will give

GM has found two manufacturing defects in battery cells supplied by its South Korean partner from two of its plants (one in South Korea and one in Michigan) – a cracked anode tab and folded separator – that could under some rare circumstances cause batteries to fail. Can become fire.

The problem is related to the batteries in all Bolt EVs/EUVs (approximately 142,000) produced between 2017-2022. They should get new batteries – modules inside the pack, or a new pack.

We’re not entirely sure of the details, but for now it appears that Early Bolt models would be replaced with a new battery pack, while newer cars, only the battery module.

“GM has said that early Bolt models will have their entire battery pack replaced, while newer models will only have faulty modules within the pack. Those new parts may not be available until after November.”

The scale of the recall (about 142,000 cars and more than 9 GWh of batteries) is huge and will cost $1.8 billion. In addition, GM was forced to stop producing new cars until LG repaired manufacturing lines and began supplying defect-free battery cells. Production at the Orion Assembly Plant has been extended until the end of September (about 1,000 inactive workers).

New batteries may not be available until “After November” And then it may take a year to produce 9+ GWh of new cells just to meet the recall. LG produced more than 33 GWh of batteries across all of its plants during the first seven months of this year (less than 5 GWh per month), meaning it’s not easy to provide an additional 9 GWh quickly.

Meanwhile, owners are said to use only 60% of the available battery state of charge (SOC) window (between about 30% and 90% SOC), reducing the range from about 250 miles to 150 miles. gives. In addition, cars should be kept outside.

  • The full battery recall was announced on August 20, 2021
  • Reason: Manufacturing defect in lithium-ion battery cells (pouch type) supplied by LG Chem’s LG Energy Solutions (a torn anode tab and folded separator) can cause a battery fire “Under rare circumstances”
    The cells were produced in plants in South Korea and Michigan.
  • cars: about 142,000 cars (including about 100,000 in the US)
    All Chevrolet Bolt EV (2017-2022)
    All Chevrolet Bolt EUV (2022)
  • diagnosis: Replacing the battery module or pack with a new battery
    temporarily: Do not charge more than 90% state of charge (SOC) or discharge below approximately 70 miles (113 km) of remaining range (that is close to 30% SOC, assuming approximately 250 miles of EPA range) and vehicles Keep it out.
  • Estimated cost: $1.8 billion
    On average it can be around $12,675 per car (or about $190 per kWh)
    GM announces it will pursue reimbursement from LG Energy Solutions
  • Estimated Battery Volume: 9.2-9.4 GWh
  • Similar Case: Hyundai Recalls Around 82,000 EVs (Including 75,680 Hyundai Kona Electrics)

According to ReutersFactbox, one of the first reports of a battery-related fire in a Chevrolet Bolt EV comes from March 17, 2019 (it was a 2018 model year car in Belmont, MA). As of August 26, 2020, the number of reports increased to 12 and at that time five were confirmed related to the battery.

The GM’s formal investigation began in August 2020, while the NHTSA’s Office of Defect Investigation began a preliminary evaluation in October 2020.

Initially, in November 2020, GM proposed a software fix that limited charging to 90% SOC. In April 2021, the company decided to perform additional diagnostic procedures and replace the batteries deemed defective.

After a few more fires of the cars, which were retested, a complete recall was announced in August 2021.

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