U.S. auto giant General Motors is set to voluntarily recall all Bolt electric vehicles sold worldwide, citing fire hazard, and has decided to suspend sale of the vehicle until the exact cause of fire is discovered. The 2022 Bolt EV, which the automaker is currently taking preorders in Korea, and the existing Bolt EV will be included in the vehicles that will be recalled and whose sale will be suspended.
While governments around the world are racing to implement electric vehicle policies, there have been a flurry of electric vehicle recalls due to fire hazard, which is feared to spread concern over safety of electric vehicles.
According to foreign media outlets on Sunday, GM announced that it will replace the battery module of the Bolt EVs and the Bolt electronic utility vehicles by spending 1 billion U.S. dollars as a voluntary recall. The vehicles to be recalled this time are 73,000 Bolt EVs (model years 2019 to 2022), which were not included in the list of EVs (model years 2017-2019) that the company decided to recall last month. As a result, all Bolt EVs that GM has produced thus far are set to be recalled.
As a number of fires erupted in the Bolt EVs, GM updated software of those vehicles to limit the maximum level of charging in the battery to 90 percent in November last year. As fires erupted even after software update, GM decided to replace the battery. CNBC reported the recall will cost a total of 1.8 billion dollars.
All the batteries mounted in the Bolt vehicles have been produced by LG Energy Solution. LG Energy Solution is producing battery cells at its Ochang Plant, North Chungcheong Province in South Korea, and its Michigan plant in the U.S. LG Electronics supplied batteries to GM by assembling multiple battery cells into a module, and LG Energy Solution has been currently doing the business since October last year.
In the wake of GM’s recall, controversy over the cause of EV fires will likely further intensify. The automobile industry is suspicious of batteries themselves as the cause of fires, while the battery industry claims other causes including wiring should be also considered as possible cause.
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