DETROIT (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — It's back to the assembly line. General Motors says it will begin making Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles again in early April after an eight-month pause because of a series of battery fire recalls.
The automaker says battery supplier LG Energy Solution is now making enough to supply replacement modules for the recalls as well as to resume production.
The company will start making hatchback and SUV versions of the Bolt on April 4 at a factory near Detroit. Those should start reaching dealers a few weeks later. Vehicles on dealer lots at the time of the recalls can be sold once battery modules are replaced.
In August GM expanded a previous recall to more than 140,000 Bolts sold worldwide since 2016 because battery manufacturing defects could cause the vehicles to catch fire.
The company said at the time that in rare cases, batteries that have two manufacturing defects can cause fires even when parked.
The recall follows reports of 13 battery fires, GM said, which can occur when both defects are present in the battery modules.
In October LG agreed to reimburse GM $2 billion for the recall costs, and the company remains in a joint venture with the company to build batteries for its next generation of electric vehicles.
The battery fires and recalls have been an embarrassing setback for GM, which has lofty goals of switching from internal combustion to battery powered vehicles. GM sold just under 25,000 Bolts in the U.S. before telling dealers to stop selling them due to the recall in August.
To capture U.S. electric vehicle market share leadership, GM plans to spend $35 billion to roll out more than 30 new battery vehicles globally by 2025, including about 20 in North America. The company has said it aspires to make only electric passenger vehicles by 2035.
GM has said it plans to overtake Tesla as the world's leading seller of electric vehicles. Tesla sold just under 353,000 EVs in the U.S. last year, according to estimates from Motorintelligence.com.
GM has started selling its Hummer large electric vehicles and plans to start making a Cadillac SUV next month. A Chevy Silverado electric pickup is to follow in 2024.
By the end of the decade, GM expects $90 billion in additional annual revenue from electric vehicles.
(© Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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