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General Motors Seeks $1 Bln In Damages From LG Chem Over Faulty EV Batteries

General Motors Co. (GM) is reportedly seeking nearly $1 billion in damages from LG Chem, the auto giant's battery cell partner, to cover losses from the recall of its Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles.

Last week, General Motors expanded Chevrolet Bolt's recall for the third time due to the fire risks posed from battery manufacturing defects. The Chevrolet Bolt was first recalled in November after five cars caught fire. Following further investigation, a second recall was done in July and now the latest.

An investigation done by the company into its battery problems found battery cell defects like a torn anode tab and folded separator, which could lead to short circuit in the affected cells.

General Motors plans to replace all the defective battery modules with new ones in the Chevy Bolt EVs and EUVs. This amount totals to $1 billion in losses, in addition to the $800 million the company is already spending for the first Bolt recall in November 2020. This is the amount the automaker is seeking in damages from LG Chem.

According to experts, battery packs are the most expensive part of any electric vehicle, costing about $186 per kWh. General Motors pays around $169 per kWh and the Bolt functions on a 66 kWh battery pack.

The latest recall includes 73,000 Bolts made from 2019 to 2022 and brings the total recall to nearly 142,000 cars, with over 100,000 having been sold in the United States.

General Motors said that it would fix the problem by replacing the vehicle battery, which is a very costly and lengthy process. Till the time replacement batteries are ready, the company has asked owners to park their vehicles outside and charge their vehicle battery up to 90 percent or lower. General Motors is working in tandem with LG Chem to produce the replacement batteries in the shortest time possible.

The latest developments put the automaker behind in the electric vehicles market, which is witnessing a boom. Reports say that with loss in sales figures, the safety risks and the possibility of employing better technology may force General Motors to opt for a different company to supply battery.

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