LG Faces Billion-Dollar Battery Fire Disaster
General Motors is blaming battery supplier LG for a spate of Chevy Bolt vehicles catching on fire and leading to a mass recall.
GM have recalled all Chevy Bolt EVs and EUV manufactured from 2019 to 2022 – over 73,000 vehicles in total. The automaker found a torn anode tab and folded separator in the battery cell “which increases the risk of fire.”
General Motors will replace the battery modules in all impacted vehicles, at an estimated cost of $1 billion – a cost it says it will pass onto LG, as they manufactured the faulty battery.
“After further investigation into the manufacturing processes at LG and disassembling battery packs,” GM wrote, “[we] discovered manufacturing defects in certain battery cells produced at LG manufacturing facilities beyond the plant.
“GM and LG are working to rectify the cause of these defects. In the meantime, GM is pursuing commitments from LG for reimbursement of this field action.”
LG are awaiting a further joint investigation by LG Electronics, GM, and LG Energy to establish the root cause of the fire before coughing up costs.
Regardless of who pays, the problem is serious.
GM issued strict guidelines for Bolt owners, including parking outside and away from buildings, never charging the batteries overnight, limiting charge state to 90 per cent, and never depleting the battery below a range of 70 miles. Needless to that, that is an untenable set of circumstances in which to operate an EV.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a statement that, “The recall applies to all Bolt vehicles, including those that may have received an earlier recall repair for the fire risk issue.”