GM to begin fixing recalled Chevy Bolt EVs next month due to fire risks

A 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV caught fire at a home in Cherokee County, Georgia on Sept. 13, 2021, according to the local fire department.

Cherokee County Fire Department

DETROIT – General Motors expects to begin replacing battery modules in recalled Chevrolet Bolt EVs due to fire risks as soon as next month, the company announced Monday.

The timing comes after the automaker’s battery supplier LG Chem restarted production of battery cells with updated manufacturing processes at plants in Michigan, GM said. Cell production went down last month following two rare manufacturing issues forcing GM to recall more than 140,000 of the EVs due to risk of the batteries spontaneously catching fire.

GM has confirmed 13 battery fires globally. The automaker has identified the problems as a torn anode and a folded separator, both of which need to be present in the same battery cell.

The recall is expected to cost the automaker $1.8 billion, some of which the automaker is negotiating to recoup from LG Chem, according to GM.

In addition to shipping new battery modules to dealers beginning next month, GM also plans to rollout a software diagnostic update for battery monitoring in the next 60 days.

GM said the diagnostic software will be designed to detect specific abnormalities that might indicate a damaged battery in Bolt EVs by monitoring the battery performance; alerting customers of any anomalies; and prioritizing damaged battery modules for replacement.

The Vermont State Police released this photo of the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV that caught fire on July 1, 2021 in the driveway of state Rep. Timothy Briglin, a Democrat.

Vermont State Police

GM will prioritize Chevy Bolt EV and EUV customers whose batteries were manufactured during specific timeframes where GM believes battery defects appear to be clustered.

The recalled vehicles include all Chevy Bolt EVs that were produced since 2016, including a recently released larger version of the car known as the Bolt EUV.

GM says owners with questions should visit, contact its Chevrolet EV help line at 1-833-EVCHEVY or contact their preferred Chevrolet EV dealer.