Problems at the LG Chem battery plant in Holland, MI continue, now with a new issue bringing the Environmental Protection Agency into the mix. Apparently, the LG plant has been using a chemical that hasn't actually been certified for use in the US. LG Chem is a South Korean company that already has a history of problems at the Holland plant, where it (sometimes) makes batteries for the Chevy Volt.
It was only a month ago that LG Chem started making said batteries, a year or so behind schedule. The initial problems related to slow Volt sales and the fact that LG Chem kept the plant open while workers played games or went to volunteer. For a time LG was shipping some battery packs over from Korea to fulfill Chevy's orders. The new problem involves an "unspecified, low-volume ingredient," according to Inside EVs and questions about its use will now pause work at the plant for a month and a half. LG Chem issued a statement in response, which, as reported by Inside EVs, says:
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. 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.
Our guess is that workers won't be playing games during this shutdown. An LG Chem spokesperson told MLive that the workers will be kept busy with "improvement projects, specialized training and maintaining readiness."