GM’s Chevy Bolt EV and EUV are back in production following the battery fire recall

GM has resumed production of the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV and now has access to a supply of new battery packs that should be safe from fire hazards. This comes after the Chevrolet Bolt was recalled due to potential battery fires that affected all model years, resulting in a complete halt to production of Bolt EV and EUV vehicles since last August.

“Our goal is to get back to business metrics and even exceed them,” said Steve Majoros, Chevy’s vice president of marketing, at a press briefing yesterday. The comeback plan for the Bolt includes catching up on new Bolt EV and EUV orders for 2022 (orders for 2023 begin in July), a new TV ad campaign to coincide with Major League Baseball’s Opening Day, and the “Herculean task” to replace all recalled batteries.

“We have a very, very good and reliable supply to ensure that we can meet all these current demands,” Majoros said on the subject of battery replacement. Majoros announced that there are 6,700 Bolt vehicles in stock at dealerships awaiting new batteries and that battery supply will be prioritized for current owners affected by the recall rather than unsold stock.

Majoros didn’t comment on how many Bolt owners are still waiting for new batteries, how quickly they’ll be replaced, or other statistics related to the recall. But when a customer gets a new battery pack, Chevy says it comes with an upgraded warranty of eight years, 100,000 miles, plus an additional 20 miles of range. The only other detail shared was that the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration is in close communication with GM on the status of the failed battery replacements.

GM’s original 2020 recall included 68,000 Bolt EVs worldwide, but later grew to around 140,000 EVs and even affected the latest Bolt EUV. But Majoros says GM is “in a much better position” in terms of the supply chain that affects Bolt EV and EUV. The same can’t be said of Chevy’s Camaro sports car, which GM suspended production this week over unspecified supply chain issues.

The Bolt EUV energy screen.
Image: GM

Old batteries from the recalled Bolts will be fully recycled or reused, according to GM’s Kevin Kelly, but it hasn’t disclosed how they will be reused and whether the corrected battery packs share any parts with the old ones. However, Majoros mentioned that the new batteries are not the same as those used in GM’s Ultium battery platform, which is used at partner companies such as Honda and also in other GM electric vehicles such as the GMC Hummer EV, which customers of those others could insure vehicles.

The meeting also revealed that GM spends more on Bolt EV and EUV than almost any other product in its lineup, including marketing and manufacturing. The company’s most expensive product is the Chevy Silverado pickup, which will soon also have its own EV version. According to Kelly, GM plans to make twice as many of the larger EUV compared to the smaller hatch. The Bolts will be actively in production alongside Cadillac Lyric and GMC Hummer EV as the company’s electric vehicle offerings.

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