Michigan’s Orion Assembly will be taking three weeks of downtime this month as General Motors continues addressing the fire recall pertaining to Chevrolet’s all-electric Bolt.
The automaker notified employees that the facility will see production idled from November 15th through December 3rd, though vehicle assembly won’t resume until the 6th. However the plant is already running on a diminished schedule so staff can assist with maximizing LG battery output and offer additional support related to the recall.
“Battery module replacements remain the priority. We will continue to adjust Orion’s production schedule moving forward to best support the recall,” GM spokesman Dan Flores told Automotive News on Thursday.
Things haven’t been similarly disharmonious for Chevy’s supplier. LG Energy Solution battery division has been struck hard by the costs of the Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV battery recall. This tainted its profitability for Q3 and also took some of its attention away from supplying fresh energy cells for electric vehicles. There are now rumors that Orion Assembly needing a few weeks off may have been partially influenced by LG’s inability to manage a series of battery-related mishaps (which includes the Hyundai Kona) and some consumer backlash against the Bolt fires that suppressed sales.
GM’s recall includes more than 140,000 Bolt vehicles and is estimated to represent a $2-billion setback if a meaningful percentage of EVs end up requiring hardware replacements. While most of that is supposed to fall upon LG, Chevrolet won’t be getting off without contributing and has definitely received a black eye (at least as far as EVs are concerned) in terms of consumer confidence. For now, the automaker is focusing on vehicles from the 2017-2019 model years because the necessary diagnostic software for later models doesn’t exist yet.
[Image: General Motors]
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