GM Remembers Every Chevy Bolt Made With Unknown Batteries

Announced by GM that it is recalled in every Chevrolet Bolt made to date, including new electric car models, due to the concern that a defect in the manufacture of batteries made in LG cars could cause a fire.

The Bolt first remembered in noVeMber after five unidentified cars caught fire. After further investigation into the problem, Chevy recalled a second batch in July. The problem is traced to two manufacturing defects that can occur simultaneously. Defects — a torn anode tab and a sealed separator — create conditions that can lead to a shortening of the affected cells. Today, the company is aware of 10 fires involving faulty batteries, according to a AP report.

it third and last memory Includes 73,000 Bolts manufactured from 2019 to 2022, the current model year, and carries the total expectation of nearly 142,000 cars, with more than 100,000 sold in the US. GM estimates that the initial recall was worth $ 800 million, and it expects the new to add $ 1 billion in total. GM said to demand compensation from LG.

To solve the problem, the automaker replaces the batteries in cars, an expensive and laborious process that can take a long time. Until replaced battery Ready and ready to schedule service appointments, GM recommends that Bolt owners park their vehicles outside and limit the state’s battery charge to 90 percent or less. The company also recommends not allowing the estimated coverage to sink less than 70 miles. GM said it is working with LG Chem to increase the production of replacement cells.

Problem Tracking

The faulty batteries were first traced to an LG Chem factory in Ochang, South Korea, and the companies thought the issue belonged only to the plant. But a fire a few weeks ago in Chandler, Arizona, involving a 2019 Bolt that led investigators to expand their coverage, revealed that problems were also with batteries made at other factories. on LG.

GM and LG Chem are partners in a new multibillion-dollar joint development making Ultium battery to wear new ones electric vehicles from the Detroit automaker. The companies announced two $ 2.3 billion battery factories in Ohio and Tennessee, with the first set to begin production next year.

GM first partnered with LG Chem for high-voltage batteries in 2008, when the automaker chose the company to provide supply for the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid. At the time, it was widely believed that GM chose the Korean company because of its established track record in the new field of lithium-ion batteries. This may be the right choice given that one of the competitors for the contract, the A123, suffered a black eye a few years ago when its batteries were responsible for a bricked Fisker cord. Karma plug-in hybrids.

Even the experience and manufacturing expertise of LG Chem has not yet freed it from high -stakes mistakes. “Batteries are tough,” Greg Less, technical director at the University of Michigan’s Battery Lab, told me for another article. “If they’re not hard, everyone can do them.”

In recent years, battery makers have struggled to balance competing requirements with cost, durability, and performance when new chemistries are available. Many lithium-ion batteries in cars use cobalt to maintain stability while charging and discharging. Although cobalt is expensive, and most of it is found in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country known for its poor human rights record and unusual mining conditions. Electrochemists are working to reduce the amount of cobalt used, exchanging it for nickel, which also has the benefit of increasing energy efficiency. Unfortunately, high-nickel batteries are also more flammable.

Even if GM or LG did not release details about the chemistry of the Bolt battery, its components are thought to be NMC 622, or six -part nickel, two -part manganese, and two -part cobalt. That’s the same as used by other automakers. There’s a lot to remember recently as automakers made kinks in their battery supply chains—Ford, Hyundai, ug BMW remembers all the cars just now. Currently, the recalls are smaller than GM, and their causes range from manufacturing defects to potential software issues.

Lots of Fires?

Even if the EV burns high-profile headlines, it’s not clear how often the EV burns than the internal combustion engine cars. Earlier this month, Tesla releases a number of a report claiming that fossil-fuel vehicles burn 11 times more often than Tesla’s own cars (as measured by fire per billion miles traveled). On the other hand, Data for 2019 from the London Fire Brigade suggests that plug-in cars are more likely to burn than ICE vehicles (0.1 per cent compared to 0.04 per cent of city-registered cars).

As GM’s investment in electricity continues, the company clearly understands it needs to act quickly to correct the problem. “We’re working with our suppliers and manufacturers to figure out how to get the fastest battery capacity for modifying the under-memory module,” said GM spokesman Dan Flores. CNBC at the start of last month’s memory. “These teams are working constantly on this issue.”

This story originally appeared Ars Technica.

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