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GM won't make new Bolt EVs until at least the end of January 2022

GM won't make new Bolt EVs until at least the end of January 2022

General Motors won't be building any new Chevy Bolt EVs until at least the end of January 2022. The automaker will instead focus on making replacement batteries for more than 140,000 Bolts, which were recalled earlier this year after a series of fires.

The Bolt production line at GM's Orion assembly plant in Michigan will remain closed "through the week of January 24, 2022," the company said in a statement Thursday. "We will continue to notify employees of the reason for any additional production schedule adjustments, as we continue to focus on battery module replacement."

GM has already said it isn't going to make any more Bolts for the rest of this year, though Thursday's announcement put things on a good date. But it's quite possible that the shutdown will continue after that, given how the recall has gone to date. Either way, it leaves GM in a strange place where it's being praised by President Biden for "leading the world in electric vehicles," while none are currently selling in the US. (The Bolt is the only EV the company currently has to offer states, at least until new vehicles like the GMC Hummer EV, Cadillac Lyric, and others start to ship within the next few months.)

GM originally recalled 2017-2019 model year Chevy Bolts in November 2020 after some reported fires. In May of this year, it announced plans to install new software on the older Bolt (and the new 2022 version launched this year) that were supposed to help contain the fires. But that software didn't work, and so GM issued another recall in July. In August after a new model year Bolt caught fire, GM recalled all Bolt EVs and ceased production.

GM and LG, its suppliers, have both been working to make fault-free batteries since September, and the automaker has been swapping them to the Bolt since October. LG is paying GM about $2 billion to cover the cost of the recall. GM made a small number of bolts with new batteries in early November to use as loaners for customers affected by the recall.

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