Fire at GM EV plant likely caused by forklift hitting batteries

In a recent development, General Motors Co. has announced the findings of its investigation into the fire that occurred at the Factory Zero Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center. According to spokesperson Tara Stewart Kuhnen, the fire, which broke out on Tuesday 19 December 2023, was caused by a forklift accidentally puncturing a container containing battery materials.

The incident occurred near a shipping dock late Tuesday afternoon, leading the automaker to halt the second and third shifts as a precautionary measure. Fortunately, no injuries were reported during the incident.

Factory Zero, known as GM’s all-electric vehicle plant, is responsible for producing the GMC Hummer EV SUV and truck, along with the electric Chevrolet Silverado. The plant resumed production on Wednesday following a thorough investigation by the automaker.

General Motors emphasised its commitment to a continued investigation into the incident, aiming to identify any additional factors or improvements needed to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

The fire had initially led to a temporary suspension of production at the plant. However, with the investigation complete and safety measures in place, the assembly lines at Factory Zero are now back in operation.

This incident underscores the challenges and safety concerns associated operating forklifts especially when dealing with potentially hazardous materials.