General Motors is working closely with supplier and partner LG Energy Solution to find the root cause of the battery fires that have forced it to recall thousands of Chevy Bolt EV and Bolt EUV vehicles.
GM Chief Financial Officer Paul Jacobson told Reuters last week the automaker is helping to “clean up the manufacturing process” at LG Energy Solution plants and put its own quality control practices in place. The automaker said previously the battery fires were caused when a torn anode tab and folded separator are present within the same battery cell, although it’s not clear how this condition comes to be during the manufacturing process. Battery cells for the Chevy Bolt EV and Bolt EUV are produced at an LG Energy Solution plant in Michigan and another similar facility in South Korea.
The battery recall, which includes all Chevy Bolt EV and Bolt EUV vehicles from the 2017 to 2022 model year, is expected to cost GM around $1.8 billion. The automaker is looking for LG to refund it for the cost of the recall and said this effort is “being handled by the appropriate leaders at both companies.” LG said this week that it is “actively cooperating to come up with a final recall plan” with GM to “wisely resolve” the battery issues. It also said it hopes to continue its “close relationship” with GM going forward.
GM spokesman Dan Flores told Reuters the automaker will begin repairing vehicles affected by the battery recall once it can finalize a solution with LG.
“Experts from GM and LG continue to work around the clock on the issues,” Flores said. “We are determined to do the right thing for our customers and resolve the problem once and for all. Once we are confident LG can provide us with good battery modules, we will begin repairs as quickly as we can.”
GM formed a new joint venture with LG last year called Ultium Cells LLC, which will operate numerous battery plants and supply GM with the battery cells it needs to expand its EV portfolio. The first Ultium Cells plant is being built in Ohio, while another is also being constructed near the GM Spring Hill Assembly plant in Tennessee. These plants will supply cells for new GM EVs like the GMC Hummer EV, Cadillac Lyriq and Chevy Silverado EV, among more.