Production of the Chevrolet Bolt and the new Bolt EUV SUV has been halted since last August. The company had to recall the vehicle due to fire hazards related to the EVs’ battery, but more importantly, it had to allow its supplier, LG, to find a solution to the problem. GM worked with LG to find a fix, and one was eventually found.
Since then, work has been underway to repair the approximately 140,000 recalled units. Production had resumed on November 1 at GM's Orion plant, but only for two weeks before another shutdown was called, on November 15, to focus on repairing the units already in circulation.
Now, GM has told the GM Authority website that the re-launch that was scheduled for December 6 won’t happen after all. In fact, no new Bolt will be assembled before the end of this year.
LG has been manufacturing the new batteries since mid-September at two plants in Michigan. The first deliveries to dealers took place in mid-October. The 65-kWh replacement units are guaranteed for 8 years or 160,000 km and run on a new chemical process that appears to have improved the vehicle's range.
A GM spokesperson reportedly told GM Authority that the company wants to focus on replacing all the batteries first. Even Bolts that are already in dealer inventories can't be sold, as they must be certified as compliant before they can be turned over to customers.
This time, instead of announcing another production start date, Chevrolet is saying only that an update will be provided early next year. The spokesperson told GM Authority that “We will continue to notify employees in a timely manner of any additional production schedule adjustments in early 2022 as we continue to focus on battery module replacements.”
At some point, this will end, but the new-generation Bolt and its SUV sibling are taking quite a beating in the meantime. Recall that the first recall to be issued impacted first-generation versions, but it was later extended to new-generation models. The 2022 Bolt, which is priced more attractively than its predecessor while offering the same capabilities, has the potential to do well, but GM will have to wrestle this substantial problem to the ground first.