Last week, GM announced production at Lake Orion Assembly would be halted between Monday, August 23rd and August 30th. It has now been confirmed to Automotive News that downtime at the plant will be extended for another two weeks, however, with employees now set to return to work on September 13th.
The extension is not related to the semiconductor chip shortage, AN reports, but rather the recent battery pack recall the automaker issued for the 2017-2019 Chevy Bolt EV. The recall, which includes replacing the entire battery module in affected vehicles, has led to a battery shortage at Orion Assembly. The automaker also extended the battery pack fire recall to remaining 2019 model year vehicles earlier this month, along with all 2020 through 2022 model year vehicles.
GM issued the latest recall campaign for the Chevy Bolt EV battery pack after a previous fix failed to stop batteries from overheating and/or catching fire. Chevy Bolt Executive Chief Engineer Jesse Ortega told GM Authority previously that the Chevy Bolt EV battery fires can be traced back to defective cells manufactured by GM supplier LG Energy Solution (formerly LG Chem) in South Korea between May 2016 and May 2019.
In a statement released last week, GM said affected vehicles “may have two manufacturing defects – a torn anode tab and folded separator, present in the same battery cell, which increases the risk of fire.”
The Chevy Bolt EV and Bolt EUV recall campaign is expected to cost GM upwards of $1 billion. The automaker spent roughly $800 million on the recall campaign in the second quarter of 2021 alone – and that was before it was expanded to include 2020, 2021 and 2022 model year vehicles.