GM extends EV Bolt production halt to mid-October

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GM said it was cutting production at six other North American assembly plants due to ongoing semiconductor chips shortages.

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General Motors Company (gm.n) On Thursday it said it would close its Michigan assembly plant by mid-October after it recalled 12 of its Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles over battery issues after a fire.

The largest US automaker said the extension of its production halt at its Orion assembly plant would last until at least October 15. GM also said it was cutting production at six other North American assembly plants due to ongoing semiconductor chips shortages.

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GM said it will not resume Bolt production or sales until it is satisfied that the recall measure will address the fire risk issue. It said on Thursday it had received reports of 12 fires and three injuries.

GM shares remained largely unchanged in late trading.

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In August GM expanded the Bolt recall to more than 140,000 vehicles to replace the battery module, which is now estimated to cost $1.8 billion. Automaker says it will seek reimbursement from battery supplier LG (003550.ks).

It is unclear how long it will take for GM to obtain replacement battery modules for the recalled vehicles and whether it will have diagnostic software that will allow it to certify that some modules do not need to be replaced.

GM said an additional three-week production halt at its Bolt plant comes as it continues to “work with our supplier to update manufacturing processes.”

Earlier this month, a shortage of chips forced GM to temporarily halt production at most North American assembly plants.

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The new production cuts include the Lansing, Michigan, plant that manufactures the Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave.

GM is also cutting production of SUVs like the Chevrolet Equinox, Blazer and GMC Terrain at plants in Mexico and Canada. It will further cut production at the Michigan and Kansas plants that make the Chevrolet Camaro and Malibu cars.

Separately, Chrysler-Parent Stelantis NV (stla.mi) Thursday said it would extend production halts at its Belvidere, Illinois and Windsor, Ontario assembly plants through October 1 due to chip shortages.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that it is planning a White House meeting with automakers and others on September 23 “to discuss the ongoing global chip shortage, the impact the Delta variant has had on global semiconductor supply chains.” and the industry has made progress in improving transparency.”


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