General Motors is beginning to lay the foundation necessary to one day become an all-electric automaker. The company announced earlier this year its plan to stop selling gas-powered cars by 2035, and the company is getting ready to launch the GMC Hummer EV. However, a new recall leaves the automaker without a single electric vehicle in production right now.
Earlier this month, GM issued a recall for every Chevy Bolt ever made so it could fix a potential defect that has been linked to a possible fire risk. That means the automaker will have to roll out about 142,000 new batteries to existing models, which includes the new Bolt EUV introduced for the upcoming 2022 model year, and that means its production is on hiatus. The automaker told The Verge that it didn’t expect Bolt production to resume until mid-September. According to the publication, Chevy first halted Bolt production last week due to the global chip shortage.
Further complicating the recall process is the battery’s supplier, LG Energy Solutions. It will take some time for the company to identify the manufacturing defect and implement a fix that ensures defect-free batteries before restarting mass production. Only then will GM begin issuing repairs and restart Bolt production. According to the automaker, the batteries could suffer from two different manufacturing defects – a torn anode tab and folded separator. The recall is expected to cost approximately $1 billion, which GM plans LG to pay.
LG is set to supply GM with batteries for the brand’s other upcoming electric vehicles, including the GMC Hummer EV, though that’s still on schedule to arrive sometime later this year. The recall and pause in production are just the latest in a series of production hiccups automakers have faced since the coronavirus pandemic hit last March. A global chip shortage paired with disrupted supply chains and production puts the Bolt pause into perspective. However, the recall certainly comes at an inopportune time as automakers begin transitioning to producing more and more electric vehicles.