The NHTSA has launched an investigation into LG Energy Solution batteries after a series of electric vehicles using the cells have shown “internal failures.”
Opened on April 1, the NHTSA lists a series of electric vehicles utilizing LGES cells that have been assigned to recalls.
In February 2020, Mercedes Benz issued a recall in one 2019 Smart Fortwo Electric Drive vehicle. In late 2020, Hyundai and General Motors both issued recalls for the 2019-2020 Kona and 2017-2019 Bolt EV. In 2021, Hyundai issued another recall for the Kona and one for the Ioniq. In 2022, Chrysler Pacifica Plug-In Hybrid EVs and Volkswagen ID.4 vehicles utilizing LGES cells were issued recalls.
Interestingly, Chrysler, which is owned by Stellantis, agreed to build a massive $4.1 billion lithium-ion battery factory in Canada with LG Energy Solution in late March.
According to NHTSA documents, 138,324 vehicles are listed in the investigation population.
“The purpose of this Equipment Query is to write to LG, and other companies that might have purchased the same or similar equipment from LG, notify them of this defect in any vehicles they manufactured, and to ensure thorough safety Investigation: EQ 22-001 Open Resume Page 2 of 2 recalls are conducted where appropriate,” the NHTSA wrote in its documents related to the investigation.
Perhaps the most public case of LGES battery defects was with the Chevrolet Bolt, which stopped production in mid-2021. GM reportedly started production of the Bolt EV and EUV once again at its Orion Assembly Plant in Michigan earlier this week. Chevrolet completely shut down production of the Bolt EV and EUV, stating it would “not resume repairs or restart production until we are confident LG is producing defect-free products for us,” a GM spokesperson said.
“We understand NHTSA’s latest request is a follow-up procedure to determine if the same or similar batteries involved in the recalls were supplied to other OEMs,” LGES said in a statement to Detroit News. “LG Energy Solution will fully cooperate with the inquiry.”
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