GM to restart Chevy Bolt production in April after battery-fire recall

DETROIT — General Motors said Tuesday it plans to restart Chevrolet Bolt production in Michigan on April 4 following the longest-known safety-related assembly halt in company history.

Production of the electric vehicle has been idled for nearly six months because of a sweeping fire-risk recall.

Orion Assembly, which builds the Bolt EV hatchback and larger Bolt EUV crossover, has been idled since August, aside from two weeks of limited production in early November to provide vehicles for customers during recall repairs.

GM recalled some Bolts in November 2020 and then issued a second recall in July. In August, the automaker expanded the recall to include more than 140,000 vehicles — every Bolt EV and EUV that GM has built since 2016. Late last year, GM launched a software diagnostics tool to identify battery-module issues and began replacements of impacted modules.

Production at the plant in Orion Township has been idled so GM could prioritize module replacements with LG Energy Solution, its battery supplier.

“We appreciate the patience customers have shown throughout the recall,” GM spokesman Dan Flores said in a statement. “We remain committed to Bolt EV and EUV and this decision will allow us to simultaneously replace battery modules and resume retail sales soon, which were strong before the recall.”

LG Energy Solution plans to cover the vast majority of the recall cost, which could be up to $2 billion depending on the number of module replacements needed. GM on Tuesday would not disclose the number of completed module replacements or the number of Bolts repurchased by the automaker.

Dealers can sell new Bolt EV or EUVs built on or after April 4 when they receive them, GM said. But the dealers are still under a stop-sale order for recalled Bolts that haven’t yet received module replacements or gone through diagnostic testing.

The extensive — and at times chaotic — recall has tarnished GM’s EV reputation as it prepares to launch its next-generation electric vehicles, powered by its proprietary Ultium batteries, different from the batteries in the Bolts. GM plans to roll out 30 EV models globally and invest more than $35 billion in electric and autonomous vehicle development through 2025.


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