Chevy Bolt owners might have the option to receive a $1,400 payout from GM as compensation for dealing with defective EV batteries in model year vehicles from 2020-2022.
As reported by Engadget, the new offer from GM comes as the company deals with a class action lawsuit over the Bolts that required a software update that limits range to protect it from catching fire. Previously, Chevy had two Bolt recalls that, over time, grew to include nearly every model ever released.
To qualify for the offer, owners must install a “final remedy” software update on their Bolt through a Chevy dealership by December 31st, 2023. Owners will get a letter that grants them access to a web form to accept the money in the form of a Visa e-gift card.
However, it’s not without strings attached. According to the terms and conditions of the offer, owners have to agree to “forever waive” rights to sue or join a future class action lawsuit regarding battery issues “known or unknown.” Should the upcoming class action settlement amount exceed the $1,400 payout from GM, owners can get the difference on top of the initial agreement.
Older Chevy Bolt models that were made from 2017 to 2019 were initially provided “fixes” in 2021 to keep the vehicles from catching fire, but it did not work. An entirely different battery issue cropped up in 2020, during which time at least 19 Bolts caught fire with full batteries.
GM issued software updates that limited charging to 80 percent and brought the drivable range down to about 207 miles from 259 miles. Older models, as the class action lawsuit states, reduced effective range by 40 percent, or from 238 miles down to a measly 144 miles max.
Last year, GM cut prices on new Bolts, then offered up to $6,000 rebates for those who got in right before the drops. Eventually, the company discontinued the Bolt — and then announced an entirely new one is coming that uses the company’s Ultium battery (which does not have a reported history of fires). Considering ongoing labor strikes are forcing GM to delay other EVs like the Chevy Equinox and Silverado, we probably won’t see the next-gen Bolt anytime soon.
Update October 24th, 2023 12:45PM ET: Added clarity that this compensation offer is extended to only 2020-2022 model year Chevy Bolt owners.