General Motors has started shipping to dealers replacement battery modules for recalled Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles after delays caused by shutdowns at multiple manufacturing plants as a result of the widespread shortage of semiconductors.
The two battery assembly facilities, in Holland and Hazel Park, Michigan, resumed production at the end of September. At that time, GM said that replacement battery modules would be shipped to dealers as soon as mid-October.
Vehicles will be prioritized according to “specific build timeframes,” or the batches of vehicles in which it believes defects appear to be clustered, GM said. The replacement process should take around two days at a dealership, and the new batteries will come with an eight-year or 100,000-mile limited warranty. GM is also launching new diagnostic software by mid-November to monitor EV batteries, which will also be installed at a dealership.
The recall was issued after the automaker discovered two manufacturing defects, a torn anode tab and folded separator, that together can increase the risk of fire. It’s the third time GM has issued a recall for the vehicle, and the most comprehensive, spanning all Bolt EV and EUV models made since 2017.
The news will surely be welcome to Bolt drivers, who were recommended by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration to park their vehicles away from their homes in case of fire risk. GM also advised Bolt owners to not park within 50 feet of other vehicles, Bloomberg reported.
In all, GM is anticipated to spend around $1.8 billion on costs associated with fixing defective Bolt batteries. The automaker said it would seek reimbursement from its battery partner, LG Chem, to the tune of around $1 billion.