GM extends Bolt production halt amid safety recall

Kalea Hall
The Detroit News

Detroit — General Motors Co. is extending its production halt of the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV by two weeks as it continues to work through the recall of the vehicles, the automaker confirmed Wednesday. 

Orion Assembly in Lake Orion will now be down through the week of Oct. 25 while GM works with battery supplier LG Energy Solution to "update manufacturing processes" and increase production of battery modules that are needed to replace those in recalled Bolts, according to a Wednesday alert to Orion employees obtained by The Detroit News.

GM halted production of the Bolt on Aug. 23 after it expanded the recall for battery fire risk to include all Bolts — more than 141,000 from model years 2017 to 2022. 

"Orion Assembly will take additional downtime as a result of a battery pack shortage related to the recently announced Bolt EV/EUV safety recall," GM spokesman David Barnas said in a statement. "Downtime is being extended to include the weeks of Oct. 18 and Oct. 25 to continue to work with our supplier to accelerate production of new battery modules and prioritize recall repairs.”

GM has started shipping out replacement battery modules to dealers for the recalled Bolts. 

On Tuesday, GM said battery supplier LG Electronics Inc. of South Korea agreed to let the Detroit automaker recover $1.9 billion for the recall. GM estimates the recall could cost $2 billion, up from a previous $1.8 billion, and the figure could change depending on how many battery modules GM has to replace.

Meanwhile, GM is still battling the global semiconductor shortage affecting all automakers. On Wednesday, it said the Ramos Assembly plant in Mexico will halt production of the Chevrolet Equinox an additional three weeks through the week of Nov. 15. Equinox production has been down since Aug. 16. Ramos' Chevrolet Blazer production will resume with one shift on Oct. 18.