General Motors outlined an action plan to address the battery combustion issue afflicting the Bolt EV lineup. (Earlier post.) The action plan includes both hardware and software remedies, some of which are in place with immediate effect.
LG battery plants in Holland and Hazel Park, Michigan, have resumed production. In addition, LG is adding capacity to provide more cells to GM. As a result, replacement battery modules will begin shipping to dealers as soon as mid-October.
The root cause of the rare circumstances that could cause a battery fire is two manufacturing defects known as a torn anode and a folded separator, both of which need to be present in the same battery cell.
LG has implemented new manufacturing processes and has worked with GM to review and enhance its quality assurance programs to provide confidence in its batteries moving forward. LG will institute these new processes in other facilities that will provide cells to GM in the future.
GM will continue to prioritize Chevy Bolt EV and EUV customers whose batteries were manufactured during specific build timeframes where GM believes battery defects appear to be clustered. The company has established a notification process that will inform affected customers when their replacement modules will be available.
The new batteries will include an extended battery 8-year/100,000-mile limited warranty (or 8-year/160,000 km limited warranty in Canada).
Within approximately 60 days, GM will begin launching a new advanced diagnostic software package that will increase the available battery charging parameters over existing guidance.
The diagnostic software will be designed to detect specific abnormalities that might indicate a damaged battery in Bolt EVs and EUVs by monitoring the battery performance; alerting customers of any anomalies; and prioritizing damaged battery modules for replacement. It is GM’s intent that further diagnostic software will allow customers to return to a 100% state of charge once all diagnostic processes are complete.
This new software, which will be provided to all Bolt EV and EUV owners, requires dealer installation. Owners will be able to start to schedule installation at their Chevy EV dealer in approximately 60 days.
If customers are following GM’s instructions issued below, they can park in a location of their choice. In an abundance of caution, GM recommends customers leave ample space around their vehicle wherever they choose to park. GM is not aware of any fires that have occurred where customers followed this safety guidance, in parking decks or otherwise.
GM’s instructions remain:
Set the vehicle to a 90% state of charge limitation using Target Charge Level mode. Instructions on how to do this are available on chevy.com/boltevrecall. If customers are unable to successfully make these changes or do not feel comfortable making these changes, GM is asking them to visit their dealer to have these adjustments completed.
Charge the vehicle more frequently and avoid depleting battery below approximately 70 miles (113 km) of remaining range, where possible.
Continue to park vehicles outside immediately after charging and do not leave vehicles charging indoors overnight.