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GM recalls Chevrolet Bolt EVs again

After two vehicles that had been repaired in a previous recall caught fire.
Image: Bloomberg

General Motors Co. is recalling its 2017-2019 model year Chevrolet Bolt battery-powered cars for the second time in less than a year, after two vehicles that had been repaired in a previous recall caught fire.

The company will replace battery modules in the hatchbacks after identifying the “simultaneous presence of two rare manufacturing defects” in the same battery cell, the automaker said Friday. GM in a November recall offered a software upgrade that limits recharging to 90% of full capacity as it worked to find a permanent remedy.

Recalls over battery defects has been a frequent hitch in the auto industry’s transition to electric vehicles, with other automakers recalling batteries recently as well. Friday’s announcement means the problem will continue to vex GM as it moves toward a new Ultium battery, which is more advanced than those in old Bolt models.

GM fell less than 1% to $55.31 at 9:55 a.m. in New York. The stock had climbed 34% this year through Thursday, about double the advance for the S&P 500.

Friday’s move affects the same 68 667 cars involved in the November recall, involving batteries made by South Korea-based LG Chem Ltd. Other Bolt vehicles use batteries made in the U.S. and aren’t subject to the recall.

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last week urged owners of the vehicles to park their cars outside and away from homes, citing fire risk. The agency said it was continuing to investigate.

Detroit-based GM is asking owners to limit charging to 90% of capacity, to charge after each use and avoid depleting their battery below about 70 miles (roughly 110 kilometers) of range.

© 2021 Bloomberg

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