Cars Chevy Volt Battery Idle

Published on September 14th, 2013 | by Jo Borrás


LG’s Chevy Volt Battery Plant Idled Again

September 14th, 2013 by  

Chevy Volt Battery Idle

It looked like LG’s Holland, Michigan had overcome its early teething troubles and — finally! — put some of its employees (and its $300 million in government funds and tax breaks) to good use. After only a few days of churning out batteries for GM’s Chevy Volt and Cadillac ELR hybrids, however, the plant has shut down once again. You can get more on that story in the article, below, which first appeared on Gas 2.

Chevy Volt Battery Production Halted at LG

Chevy Volt Batteries

After receiving over $150 million in federal funds and $175 million in tax breaks, the LG Chem/GM Chevy Volt battery plant in Holland, MI was set to begin production this month after several, long delays. Now, however, the LG Chem plant has announced that they are stopping production for up to six weeks because a compound used in that production apparently had not been registered for use in manufacturing with the EPA.

It should be noted that the EPA didn’t step in to halt production, but that the company self-policed this one. “We discovered the possibility that this material may not be properly registered and made the decision to pause our production until we have that question resolved,” explained LG spokesman Jeremy Hagemeyer. “We are currently reviewing the registration status and will work with the EPA to resolve the issue quickly. In the meanwhile, we are delaying production activities for approximately 6 weeks until we have confirmed the registration status or otherwise obtain approval from EPA.”

The LG factory is supposed to be making Chevy Volt batteries, but after several “false starts” it was discovered that all the workers at the plant were idle, and the DOE stepped in and asked for 842,000 of its dollars – money that was spent on idle worker payroll – back. As a start.

Despite soaring plug-in car sales throughout 2013 and the fact that GM will soon start selling its Cadillac ELR (old) ladykiller coupe, which uses the same batteries as the Chevy Volt, it doesn’t appear as if the factory’s production capacity is sorely missed. Still, Hagemeyer insists that, for now, there would be no layoffs. LG employees will be engaged in continuous factory improvement projects, training, and in “maintaining readiness” (whatever that means). “We view this as a temporary issue,” says Hagemeyer, “and are very confident that we will proceed with production soon.”

General Motors has not commented on the battery production shutdown.

Sources: Autoblog, the Truth About Cars
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About the Author

I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the Important Media network. You can find me on Twitter, Skype (jo.borras) or Google+.

  • Do Carbon Nanotubes Smell?

    Hmm, seems like this could’ve been done in the background. Keeping them going would be good for biz/tax revenue/US jobs etc. and an almost sure bet that EPA would pass this through barring some especially nasty/dangerous compound.

    I think a good question to ask might be what S Korean (pretty sure that’s where LG hails from) car manufacturer has the most to gain and the right ties/stock ownership of LG to encourage this “self-policing.”

  • Shiggity

    I feel sorry for the workers. Constantly a political punching bag, losing precious work hours they need.

    • Bob_Wallace

      How do you figure this as a political issue?

      My read is that someone in the company didn’t get all their work done and clear all the materials before they started production.

      • Shiggity

        This is a favorite talking point in conservative media. I know the issue, but the conservative media doesn’t exactly tell you the facts now do they?

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