GM revokes all Chevy Bolt electric vehicles sold worldwide due to fire hazard

General Motors said on Friday that it is recalling all Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles sold worldwide to fix a battery problem that could cause fires.

The recall and others raise questions about lithium-ion batteries, which are now used in nearly all electric vehicles. Ford, BMW and Hyundai recalled batteries recently.

President Joe Biden will need electric vehicles to meet his goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by mid-2030 as part of a broader effort to combat climate change.

The GM recall announced on Friday adds about 73,000 screws from 2019 to 2022 model years to a previous recall of 69,000 older screws.

GM said that, in rare cases, batteries have two manufacturing defects that can cause fires.

The Detroit-based automaker said it would replace battery modules in all vehicles. In previous versions, all five modules will be replaced.

The latest recall will cost the company about $1 billion, bringing the total cost of Bolt battery recalls to $1.8 billion.

GM said owners should limit charging to 90 percent of the battery’s capacity. Bolts, including a new SUV, must also be parked outdoors until the modules are replaced.

The original recall was attributed to a manufacturing defect at a South Korean factory run by LG Chemical Solution, GM’s battery supplier. But the company said an investigation had shown defects are possible in batteries made elsewhere. Most of the newer Bolt batteries are made at an LG factory in Holland, Michigan.

GM released the first Bolt recall in November after receiving reports of five of them catching fire. Two people inhaled smoke and a house was set on fire.

At first, the company didn’t know what was causing the problem, but it determined that the batteries that caught fire were almost fully charged. He traced the fires back to what he called a rare manufacturing defect in battery modules. This can cause a cell to short circuit, which can set off a fire.

GM said it began investigating the newer bolts after a 2019 model that wasn’t included in the earlier recall caught fire a few weeks ago in Chandler, Arizona. This raised concerns about the latest Bolts.

The fire brought the total number of Bolt fires to 10, company spokesman Dan Flores said.

GM says it is working with LG to increase battery production. The company says owners will be notified to take their cars to dealerships as soon as replacement parts are ready.

Flores said he’s not sure when that will happen.

The company has said it will not produce or sell more screws until it is satisfied with the LG battery’s problems, Flores said.

“Our focus on safety and doing the right thing for our customers guides every decision we make at GM,” said Doug Parks, head of product development at GM, in a statement.

Batteries with the new modules will come with an eight-year, 160-kilometer (100,000-mile) warranty, the company said. GM will replace all five battery modules in 2017-2019 Bolts. Defective modules will be replaced in newer models.

GM said it will seek reimbursement from LG.

Bolts are just a small fraction of GM’s overall US sales, which move about 3 million vehicles in a typical year. But they are the first of an ambitious launch of electric models as GM tries to reach its goal of selling only electric passenger vehicles by 2035.

Other automakers are also announcing additional electric models around the world to reduce pollution and meet stricter government fuel economy standards.

General Motors shares fell about 2 percent in the trading period after the recall was announced.


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