LG will pay GM $1.9B for Chevy Bolt EV battery recall

General Motors announced Tuesday morning that it has reached an agreement with LG Electronics over manufacturing defects that have led to the recall of about 140,000 Chevrolet Bolt EVs. 

According to GM, the reimbursement offsets $1.9 billion of the $2.0 billion in charges associated with the recalls—effectively covering most of the cost of the recalls up until this point. 

That’s a positive development between the two companies, which are partnering together for Ultium Cells LLC battery plants that aim to supply large-format cells—different than those in the Bolt EV and EUV—that will power about 30 new EVs by the middle of the decade. 

“Our engineering and manufacturing teams continue to collaborate to accelerate production of new battery modules and we expect to begin repairing customer vehicles this month,” GM purchasing and supply-chain VP Shilpan Amin said on the Bolt EV issue, calling LG “a valued and respected supplier to GM.” 

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

GM hasn’t yet started with its pack replacement campaign. On September 20, GM revealed that it had a “comprehensive action plan” for the issue, which had then been potentially related to 13 fires. At that time, with an understanding of the issue—two unrelated manufacturing defects that needed to be present simultaneously—two LG battery plants in Michigan were restarting, with replacement battery modules due for cars as soon as mid-October. 

GM said that it would prioritize battery replacement based partly on build dates—with 2017-2019 Bolt EVs to be addressed first. 

In August, GM confirmed plans to replace all battery modules in the initially affected 2017-2019 Bolt EV models. Later that same month, the automaker expanded the recall to include 2019-2021 Bolt EV models as well as new 2022 Bolt EV and EUV models. 

2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV review update - Portland OR

2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV review update - Portland OR

For months, GM has recommended that owners set their vehicle to a maximum 90% state of charge, not allow it below 70 miles of range, and park the vehicle outside immediately after charging—with specific warnings not to charge the vehicle inside a garage overnight. 

GM is due to flash another new software update to affected vehicles that will drop the maximum state of charge to 80%, easing it up to 100%—and garage privileges—if the pack checks out.

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