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LG Energy Solution expects no more EV battery recalls from renewed probe

The 2022 Chevy Bolt EV and Bolt EUV, powered by lithium-ion batteries from LG Energy Solution (GM)
The 2022 Chevy Bolt EV and Bolt EUV, powered by lithium-ion batteries from LG Energy Solution (GM)
South Korean electric vehicle battery maker LG Energy Solution said Wednesday it does not expect any more recalls as a result of a probe by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a federal auto safety agency in the United States.

“In regards to the major recalls of General Motors’ Bolt, Hyundai Motor’s Kona and Ioniq, an NHTSA procedure has been completed and settlements with auto makers have been reached, so we expect no more issues regarding the battery recall,” LG Energy Solution said in a statement.

As for GM‘s recalls of the Chevrolet Bolt EV, LG Chem -- the parent company of LG Energy Solution before its carveout -- and LG Electronics agreed with GM in October to shoulder a combined $1.2 billion out of the total $2 billion in costs and expenses associated with the recall of 140,000 electric subcompact hatchbacks. LG and GM resumed Bolt EV production Monday.

LG’s settlement with Hyundai Motor to pay a combined 690 billion won ($565.1 million) was also reached last year.

The renewed NHTSA probe is a “routine” procedure to follow up on what the high-voltage lithium-ion battery maker identified to be behind a battery defect with fire risks and subject to EV recalls, the company added.

“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,” noted LG Energy Solution.

As for issues over defects of some 350 Volkswagen ID.4 vehicles, which run on LG Energy Solution batteries, the company said it has nothing to do with a battery pack itself, but is a matter of soldering defects found in flexible circuit boards in battery modules, which the company said have been fixed.

LG, however, did not comment on the recall of some 17,000 Pacifica plug-in hybrid electric vehicles manufactured by Stellantis between 2017 and 2018, as an investigation into the root cause of 12 vehicle fires is underway.

The statement came soon after NHTSA said Tuesday it opened an investigation into whether LG Energy Solution’s defective batteries were recalled adequately, adding the procedure might affect some 140,000 vehicles by Mercedes-Benz, Stellantis, GM and Hyundai Motor.

LG Energy Solution was trading 0.9 percent lower than the previous day’s closing price on the Korea Exchange, as of 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

By Son Ji-hyoung (consnow@heraldcorp.com)
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