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General Motors and LG Settle Chevrolet Bolt Class-Action for $150m

— May 17, 2024

The settlement could provide former and current Bolt owenrs with individual payments starting between $700 and $1,400 each.

Chevrolet Bolt owners will be eligible for settlement checks under the terms of a recently-announced $150 million class-action settlement with LG and General Motors.

According to NBC News, the settlement was submitted to a Michigan-based federal court earlier this week. The agreement will provide individual payments of up to $1,400 to Chevrolet Bolt EV owners who installed software before December 21, 2023, that had been intended to fix a battery-related defect. Owners who terminated their Bolt leases before the software remedy could be released will, in contrast, receive at least $700.

The lawsuit, which was first filed in 2020, alleged that many Chevrolet Bolt EV vehicles with model years between 2017 and 2019 came pre-equipped with defective batteries—batteries that caused overheating when charged to or near full capacity, and which created a minor risk of either fire or explosion.

One of the lead plaintiffs in the claim, Robin Altobelli, said that she was never informed of any battery-related defect or defects when she purchased her vehicle. But, shortly after taking her new Bolt home, she was informed of a wide-scale recall.

A gavel. Image via Wikimedia Commons via Flickr/user: Brian Turner. (CCA-BY-2.0).

Before Chevrolet and LG announced a solution, Bolt owners like Altobelli were simply instructed to limit their vehicle charge to 90%.

Attorneys said that this alleged misrepresentation on the part of General Motors—the owner of Chevrolet—left consumers with vehicles that had a “reduced range,” causing an “ascertainable loss” in both value and functionality.

The lawsuit also cited consumer reports complaining of batteries “spontaneously” catching fire while charging.

“We were woken up by smoke/fire alarms,” one report stated. “We started running around our home to identify the cause of the alarm. After about 5 minutes of searching the home and finding nothing, we realized that there was some smell of smoke coming from the garage and when the mudroom door which leads to the garage was opened, we found that the Chevy Bolt was on fire and there was a lot of smoke in the garage.”

The recall, which was announced only after numerous owners submitted complaints to federal safety regulators, is believed to have cost General Motors more than $2 billion.

A spokesperson for GM has since confirmed the agreement, saying that certain categories of current and former Bolt owners will be eligible for compensation sometime in the near future.

“GM, LG Energy Solution and LG Electronics have agreed to a settlement with plaintiffs to resolve class action litigation related to the Bolt EV battery recall,” General Motors told Reuters in an emailed statement. “As a result, Bolt owners who received a battery replacement or who have installed the latest advanced diagnostic software may qualify for compensation.”


Chevrolet Bolt owners win $150 million settlement after electric vehicles caught fire

Chevy Bolt owners to receive settlement checks after successful class-action suit over faulty batteries

GM, LG agree on $150 million relief for Chevy Bolt EV owners over faulty batteries

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