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GM to extend Chevrolet Bolt plant shutdown by three weeks

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FILE PHOTO: Workers assemble Chevy Bolt EV cars at the General Motors assembly plant in Orion Township
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By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - General Motors Co confirmed Friday it will again halt production at its Orion Assembly plant in Michigan, which makes the Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle, for three more weeks.

The largest U.S. automaker in August widened its recall of the Bolt to more than 140,000 vehicles to replace battery modules and to address fire risks after a series of fires.

GM said the plant, which halted production in August after the battery recall, now has a targeted return to production date of Dec. 6. The new three-week production halt will start Nov. 15.

Late last month, GM said it would conduct limited production for two weeks at Orion starting Nov. 1 to help optimize battery production and supply chain repair logistics, including providing vehicles to be used as courtesy transportation for customers during recall repairs.

GM said Friday that "battery module replacements remain the priority. We will continue to adjust Orion’s production schedule moving forward to best support the recall."

GM President Mark Reuss said last month that the company is addressing the recall before resuming production of new vehicles.

GM has suspended sales of new Bolts. Reuss said GM has to certify Bolt vehicles on dealer lots before they can be sold but did not say when those sales might begin.

GM disclosed in October that its battery partner, South Korea's LG Electronics, had agreed to reimburse it for the $2 billion estimated costs and expenses associated with the Bolt recall.

GM and LG Energy Solution are building two joint-venture U.S. battery plants.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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