Chevrolet had reduced the price of its Bolt EV by up to $6,000 in the US this summer. Jalopnik reports that owners who bought their Bolt before the price cut took effect are now also being offered said credit. However, existing owners should read the fine print carefully.
Because, according to the new terms, Bolt owners must waive all rights to sue GM over the vehicle to get the money, including their right to sue if the battery catches fire. And there’s a “good” reason for that – GM had to issue a major recall for the Chevrolet Bolt due to battery problems.
So let’s recall said string of recalls, starting in October 2020, with the latest update reaching us in August 2021. General Motors then officially paused production of the Chevrolet Bolt and its offshoot Bolt EUV and suspended repairs for the recall. The company said it was waiting to receive fault-free new battery modules from its supplier LG. “We will not resume repairs or restart production until we are confident LG is producing defect-free products for us,” GM spokesperson Daniel Flores stated.
By that time, the various Bolt recalls cost GM $800 million; the company then committed $1 billion to the battery-replacement program – not without suggesting LG was to shoulder the cost. Yet by September 2021, another Bolt caught fire, and the recall had ballooned to 141,000 vehicles in response to 16 vehicle fires, reports Jalopnik.
The new chapter in the Bolt battery saga
Still, GM aimed to restart the Bolt assembly line in April this year but got delayed until late July for the 2023-Bolt. Chevy subsequently knocked $5,000 off the MSRP of the 2023 Bolt and more than $6,000 off the price of the 2023 Bolt EUV. This price reduction was then handed down to owners of older Bolt EVs, however, not without adding the aforementioned fine print that appears to mean you were waiving all rights to sue.
Reads the agreement provided by a Bolt-owner to Jalopnik:
“By nonetheless agreeing to this Release, I—both on my own behalf and on behalf of my heirs, agents, servants, beneficiaries, legal representatives, assigns, wards, executors, successors, and administrators—forever waive and release all claims, damages, or causes of action, either known or unknown, regardless of the legal or equitable theory, that I may have now or in the future arising out of or in any way relating to my Bolt vehicle(s), the battery defect, or the battery recalls, and including any claims or rights that I may have in connection with the class action, including any right to participate as a class member.”
GM has since reached out to Jalopnik to fan the flames with the following statement:
“The agreement for the reimbursement program does contain language that waives claims against GM and identifies existing litigation. This is a common practice when it comes to programs like this. It does not waive claims involving any potential recalls in the future.”
Let’s say we keep our fingers crossed.
Editor’s note: we have adapted this article to clarify that the waiver applies to owners of older Bolt EVs who have been offered the discount retrospectively.
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