GM extends Orion shutdown amid Bolt fire-risk recall

Kalea Hall
The Detroit News

Detroit — General Motors Co. is extending a production halt of Chevrolet Bolt EVs and Bolt EUVs an additional three weeks as it works through the recall on those vehicles, the automaker said Thursday. 

The Orion Assembly plant will now be down through the week of Oct. 11. Production halted the week of Aug. 23 after GM expanded a recall on the Bolts to include all model years for a battery fire risk.

All Chevrolet Bolt EVs and Bolt EUVs have been recalled due to battery issues.

The automaker has confirmed 12 battery fires so far and is working with supplier LG Energy Solution to figure out how two "rare" defects occurred in Bolt battery cells. GM has said it will not make more Bolts until it feels confident in the battery supply. 

"We are extending downtime to include the weeks of Sept. 27, Oct. 4 and Oct. 11 to continue to work with our supplier to update manufacturing processes," GM spokesman David Barnas said in a statement. "We will continue to evaluate additional production schedule adjustments."

Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services personnel in Georgia put out a Chevrolet Bolt fire on Sept. 13.

GM is dealing with the recall as the auto industry continues to navigate the difficult semiconductor shortage that has cost all automakers valuable production time, limited dealer inventory, and left thousands of autoworkers on unemployment. 

GM and crosstown rival Stellantis NV said Thursday they would extend shutdown periods for some plants due to the chip shortage.

Stellantis said it was extending downtime at plants producing the Jeep Cherokee crossover and Chrysler minivans in Belvidere, Illinois, and Windsor, Ontario, respectively through the week of Sept. 27.

"Stellantis continues to work closely with our suppliers to mitigate the manufacturing impacts caused by the various supply chain issues facing our industry," Stellantis spokeswoman Jodi Tinson said in a statement.

For GM, Lansing Delta Township Assembly, home of the Chevrolet Traverse and the Buick Enclave, will have one additional week of downtime, with production expected to resume there the week of Oct. 4.

The plant has been off since the week of July 19.

CAMI Assembly in Canada and San Luis Potosi Assembly in Mexico will now be down through the week of Oct. 11. San Luis Potosi makes the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain and CAMI also builds the Equinox. Both plants have been idle since the week of July 19.

Chevrolet Blazer production at Ramos Assembly in Mexico will now be down through the week of Sept. 27. Downtime for Equinox production at Ramos has been extended through the week of Oct. 11.

At Ramos, production of the Blazer has been down since Aug. 23 and production of the Equinox has been down since Aug. 16.

Lansing Grand River Assembly will be down for Chevrolet Camaro and Cadillac Black Wing production through the week of Sept. 27. Cadillac CT4 and CT5 production, down since May 10, will remain so through the week of Sept. 27. Camaro production has been down since Sept. 13.

Chevrolet Malibu production downtime at Fairfax Assembly in Kansas is now extended through the week of Oct. 25. Cadillac XT4 production is still slated to resume at Fairfax Sept. 20. 

The plant has been closed because of the shortage since Feb. 8.

Twitter: @bykaleahall

Staff Writer Breana Noble contributed.