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posted by janrinok on Monday August 23 2021, @09:14PM   Printer-friendly

GM to spend $1 billion to expand Chevy Bolt EV recall due to fires:

GM said it is pursuing reimbursement commitments from EV battery supplier LG Energy Solution, which produced the defective parts in plants in South Korea and Michigan. Parts from the U.S. plant were previously not involved in the recall.

The automaker plans to replace the vehicle's costly battery cell modules. GM also said it is working with LG to rectify the cause of the defects and increase production of the new modules.

"Our focus on safety and doing the right thing for our customers guides every decision we make at GM," Doug Parks, a GM executive vice president who oversees products, purchasing and supply chains, said in a release. "As leaders in the transition to an all-electric future, we know that building and maintaining trust is critical. GM customers can be confident in our commitment to taking the steps to ensure the safety of these vehicles."

The expansion follows the companies finding that the batteries for these vehicles may have two manufacturing defects — a torn anode tab and folded separator — present in the same battery cell, which increases the risk of fire.


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @09:34PM (16 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @09:34PM (#1170013)

    Strikes again!

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by DannyB on Monday August 23 2021, @09:44PM (14 children)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday August 23 2021, @09:44PM (#1170015) Journal

      Isn't GM good ol' American Quality?

      Remember once when America built the best cars in the world? (You have to be as old as I do to remember this.)

      Then remember in 1977 when they redesigned everything on the road to meat new emissions standards? At the same time, quality went off a cliff. But remember that GM is the company which invented the term "planned obsolescence". That's code for: if they find a single part on this car that will last over five years, they take that part back to the drawing board.

      So next, by the early 1980s when people had a few years to be driving these crappy cars, Americans started buying Japanese. They were cheaper. More fool efficient. And in some cases better made. Gradually through the 1980s fewer and fewer people were buying American cars. It affected our culture. It affected the bottom line of the big American auto companies.

      I remember a TV ad in the early 80s where one of the big American auto companies was advertising: QUALITY is Job #1!

      Now why would they have to advertise quality? Once upon a time it was just assumed that quality was job 1. After all it was an American car. At this point it was obvious to everyone that American cars were inferior.

      I grew up with American cars (see above). My third car was an 89 Honda Accord LXi. Never looked back.

      Obviously now I look at the legacy American car company (detroit rust belt) cars with great suspicion. Everything I continue to see confirms that suspicion.

      I remember someone in the 1990s who bought an American van. Don't remember which brand, long time ago. It was new. One of the belts squeaked. The dealer fixed it. Then it started again. Fixed again. Repeat. Then finally the dealer tells him: "they just do that".

      Buy a Honda, or Toyota. They don't "just do that".

      --
      Trump is a poor man's idea of a rich man, a weak man's idea of a strong man, and a stupid man's idea of a smart man.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @09:54PM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @09:54PM (#1170022)
        • (Score: 2) by Tork on Monday August 23 2021, @10:27PM (1 child)

          by Tork (3914) Subscriber Badge on Monday August 23 2021, @10:27PM (#1170037)
          And?
          --
          🏳️‍🌈 Proud Ally 🏳️‍🌈
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @11:00PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @11:00PM (#1170049)

            Those are soooo much worse than Ford Pinto...

        • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @11:03PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @11:03PM (#1170051)

          From your citation:

          many of them were determined to be caused by pedal misapplication, and the NHTSA noted that there was no statistical significance showing that Toyota vehicles had more SUA incidents than other manufacturers. Other investigations were closed because the NHTSA found no evidence that a defect existed.

          So you're citing the fact that there were a number of American idiots who tried to make a quick buck by trying to scam Toyota. What does that have to do with crap-quality American-brand cars and reliable American-made Japanese-brand cars?

        • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday August 24 2021, @03:19PM

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 24 2021, @03:19PM (#1170347) Journal

          Once you drive a Toyota, you'll never stop!

          --
          Trump is a poor man's idea of a rich man, a weak man's idea of a strong man, and a stupid man's idea of a smart man.
      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @10:10PM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @10:10PM (#1170030)

        Honda quality fell off a cliff in the 21st century.
        We had a new Honda minivan, and as usual for Honda (Toyota is not like this), Honda designed a too-small brake system. The rotors are too small and get hot. (Cheap steel, too.) If you used the brakes and then splashed through a rain puddle, instant warped rotor. Happened to us and everyone else multiple times. Nice having a vibrating steering wheel. None of my American cars did that. Also, after one year, the premium paint job starting getting chips (on the sides, where gravels would never hit!), and orange rust streaks would appear. The thing was a complete rattle trap. Now, my parents have a Honda minivan that is 20 years old, and there is no comparison between the old and the new for quality. The old is great. The new is shit. Toyota minivan, similar story. Just sold our 13 year old Toyota minivan. Great ride, but some things went bad on it over the years. (Both automatic side doors went bad, rear small windows too, had to install a new steering rack twice within a few years, some other issues). I likely would have bought a new one just like it, if were they still made. But no. New Toyota minivans are little, underpowered, cheap-interior vehicles. They suck.

        My point is that we PEAKED in general vehicle quality some time ago. Honda I would say peaked in the 1990s. Toyota was still good up to 2010. It's all downhill from there.

        The quality difference between "American" (as you call them) and "Japanese" (as you call them) is pretty close these days. These companies are WORLD companies, and they use many of the same international parts suppliers, and "American" cars might be made in Mexico and "Japanese" cars might be built in heartland America.

        Your info on GM versus Japanese represents facts that are extremely outdated. "American" cars got better while "Japanese" cars got worse.

        • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @10:16PM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @10:16PM (#1170033)

          》 "American" cars got better while "Japanese" cars got worse.

          That's why I drive a Yugo. Quality was consistent from the first one produced until the day Bill Clinton bombed the assembly line.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @10:25PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @10:25PM (#1170036)

            "until the day Bill Clinton bombed the assembly line."

            And nobody noticed - even the serbs were like "meh."

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @10:30PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @10:30PM (#1170039)

            It's a cult classic!
            If you also had an East German Trabant, you'd have a pair of the finest small transportation communism was capable of producing.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @10:32PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @10:32PM (#1170040)

              Keep them travants away from pigs - they eat them.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by krishnoid on Tuesday August 24 2021, @01:00AM

        by krishnoid (1156) on Tuesday August 24 2021, @01:00AM (#1170090)

        What I heard is that said auto company:

        • Tells their customers that quality is Job #1
        • Tells their employees that safety is Job #1
        • Tells their shareholders that revenue is Job #1

        Somewhat apocryphal, though. What isn't apocryphal is how good old American university elitist snooty-nosed ingenuity made Toyota (and Japanese auto manufacture, really) produce the highest-quality cars in the world [theglobeandmail.com], for a time. That leadership and competence is something Americans can genuinely take credit for and be proud of, perversely enough.

        Oddly enough, he himself wrote a total of *2* books in plain English, containing the fundamentals but also full of short descriptions of case studies of how you produce quality products.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday August 24 2021, @02:05AM (2 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday August 24 2021, @02:05AM (#1170111)

        We had a '69 Camaro 327. My grandmother bought a revolving door sequence of cars like that through the 60s and early 70s. Mercury XR7 Cougar, up to the '78 Cadillac Seville.

        We got the Camaro as a hand-me-down with ~40K miles when she replaced it with the Cougar. Before 70K miles in 1976 we traded it in on a (POS) Oldsmobile Starfire - which was supposed to have a rotary engine but didn't due to the increasing emission regulatory pressures.

        Main thing I remember about the cars of that era: most of them were short lived crap. At 68K miles, the 327 in that Camaro was nearly done - this with religious 3000 mile oil changes and all the other recommended maintenance, driven normally not raced. The early 70s Cougar was just as bad. The '78 Seville might have lasted a bit longer, but it got t-boned after Granny ran a stop sign.

        What you have a lot of today is survivor bias. By pure dumb luck, some engines were assembled with size matched properly toleranced parts, and when all those stars aligned the cars made it through to today's more advanced oils, better diagnostics and better maintenance capabilities. If you find a '69 Camaro 327 that is still running with the numbers-matched engine in it today, it's because it was one of the rare good ones - like many other kinds of antiques, the fact that it's here today sets it apart from all the junk that went to the landfill decades ago.

        What happened in the late 1970s was the souls were sucked from our automobiles in the name of fuel efficiency - the crappy quality was always there, but it was masked somewhat by massive displacements. I remember my pickup truck with the 4 barrel carb on a 350V8, it would drive on 7 cylinders pretty well - better on 8 of course, but I had a plug wire fall of one Tuesday and didn't figure it out until Saturday because it was still getting back and forth to work just fine.

        The U.S. knew how to make cars better, they just didn't want to. For some perverse reason, we went to Japan and told them how it should be done, and they listened. By somewhere in the late 1980s, US automakers finally realized it was in their best interests to start making cars that didn't self-destruct before 100,000 miles. Of course, today, they've engineered plastics into so much of the drivetrain that the new cars are set to self destruct before they make it to 20 years of age. The plastics hold up pretty well for the 10 year warranty period, but are guaranteed to fall apart before they make it to 30.

        --
        🌻🌻 [google.com]
        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @02:33AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @02:33AM (#1170118)

          "What happened in the late 1970s was the souls were sucked from our automobiles in the name of fuel efficiency...."

          That's a factor, but it's the management vs union battle that killed the Detroit. We've got too arrogant, we had no foreign competition, so we fought each other.

          Meanwhile, the Japanese, with their detail-oriented minds, developed siuper reliable cars. Damn things just go and go, about the only maintenance is oil change. Except the thin steel body rust out quick in the nasty salted Upper Midwest winter roads.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @05:37PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @05:37PM (#1170424)

          Plastic only lasts a short time for anything structural, but lingers forever as trash.
          The best use of plastics is therefore as TRASH.

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @10:52PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @10:52PM (#1170046)

      Should have named it the Chevy Blazer.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @10:13PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @10:13PM (#1170031)

    All these burning electric cars can't be good for the environment. An article on this recall in Ars Technica quotes London's fire chief as saying one in a thousand electric vehicles in London spontaneously combusts each year. Thanks, I'll stick with my V8 F150.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @11:11PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @11:11PM (#1170052)

      So your vehicle burns multiple EVs worth of crap each year. You'd do better to buy an EV and torch it yourself every year to get the next model.

      Science, not just for smart people ;^)

  • (Score: 2) by requerdanos on Monday August 23 2021, @10:52PM (3 children)

    by requerdanos (5997) on Monday August 23 2021, @10:52PM (#1170045) Journal

    From the article (last two paragraphs):

    "In the meantime, GM is asking affected Bolt EV owners to set their vehicles to a 90% state of charge limitation..."

    "GM also is asking owners to avoid depleting their battery below approximately 70 miles of remaining range and ... not park their vehicles inside or charge them unattended overnight"

    So the workaround is simple pretty clunky: So, don't fully charge it, don't fully discharge it, and don't park it near anything flammable like your house. And don't let it charge overnight.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @12:35AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @12:35AM (#1170080)

      It's EE vehicles with battery, battery tech used is still immature.

      On the other hand, beemers self-combust even without batteries.

    • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Tuesday August 24 2021, @01:04AM

      by krishnoid (1156) on Tuesday August 24 2021, @01:04AM (#1170092)

      and don't park it near anything flammable like your house.

      Or, you know, another Bolt. Or another car, for that matter. Or any plant matter on the west coast. You know what, just drive it into a shipping container, seal the edges, and fill it from the top with mineral oil.

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday August 24 2021, @02:08AM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday August 24 2021, @02:08AM (#1170113)

      The instructions on my Sondors e-bike read a lot like this - it's basic CYA between the battery engineers and the lawyers. If you tell the owner that they are only allowed to charge it while personally attended and remove the charger at the first sign of smoke, then it's the owner's fault when their house burns down.

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 25 2021, @01:24AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 25 2021, @01:24AM (#1170607)

    That used to be GM advertizing point.

    They were talking about doing the engineering to make it 'just work' for the customer.
    This is a whole 'nuther sort of sweating. Build a bunch of factory excrement, and have to shovel it.

    The first is a much better position to be in, but the second shows how important getting it right is for making things in volume.

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