General Motors (GM) has resumed production at a Detroit assembly plant, after a fire broke out at the plant earlier this week.
On Wednesday, GM said it had resumed production at its Detroit-Hamtramck “Factory Zero” following a fire on Tuesday, which an investigation has determined was likely caused by a forklift accident that punctured a battery materials container (via Detroit Free Press). GM and the Detroit Fire Department plan to continue investigating the incident, which occurred at a shipping dock at the plant and involved lithium-ion battery materials.
“Our initial investigation indicates a forklift accidentally punctured a container with battery materials causing the fire,” GM spokesperson Tara Kuhnen said on Wednesday. “The investigation continues.”
Factory Zero’s interior was nearly filled with smoke on Tuesday evening, forcing GM to evacuate the building and pause production. Workers on the plant’s first shift were resuming production around 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday, according to Kuhnen.
“Most departments are operational again at the plant, including vehicle assembly,” Kuhnen added. “All others will be notified by their leadership when to return. Safety remains our overriding priority.”
GM’s Factory Zero produces some of the automaker’s electric vehicles (EVs), including the GMC Hummer EV pickup and SUV, and the Chevy Silverado EV. It was also building the Cruise Origin before production of the vehicle was halted last month. The Detroit site employs roughly 1,880 employees, according to GM’s website.
This is also the second fire that has occurred at Factory Zero in the latter half of this year, with an “autonomous electric car fire” taking place at the plant on October 25. Following that fire, Kuhnen said that an investigation had determined the cause to be a non-battery-related component.
The news also comes after GM faced historic, six-week strikes from its workers represented by the United Auto Workers (UAW) union, and after the company’s self-driving unit, Cruise, has encountered a series of bad news following an accident with a pedestrian in October.
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