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Chevy Bolt EV Owners Eligible for $1,400 Settlement Payouts Over Battery Recall Woes

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Owners of the Chevrolet Bolt EV, specifically models from 2017 to 2022, could receive a financial reimbursement between $700 and $1,400. This comes as a result of a $150 million class-action settlement involving GM and LG Energy Solution.

The collective lawsuit in Michigan represents the merging of eight separate class-action lawsuits that were initiated against GM across different U.S. District Courts towards the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021. According to settlement details released by CBS, the document specifies who is eligible and the settlement sums involved.

Under the terms of the agreement, owners of Bolts who implemented diagnostic software, which had a short-term impact on the driving distance of these vehicles, qualify for a $1,400 reimbursement, as long as they applied the software before December 31, 2023. Meanwhile, individuals who had ownership or lease agreements on a Bolt before the fix was available are entitled to a $700 compensation.

2021 Chevy Bolt Electric Vehicle

In October 2023, General Motors proposed a deal to owners of Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV models from 2020 to 2022. They offered $1,400 as a preliminary settlement on the condition that owners would install new diagnostic software, which would reduce their vehicle's capacity and travel distance to 80% of its initial capability for the first 6,200 miles. Accepting this deal also meant agreeing to a legal waiver.

The collective legal agreement doesn't cover customers who chose to have GM buy back their vehicle, an option that was available to certain customers at the beginning of the evaluation and recall stage. However, it doesn’t leave out individuals who have already received a replacement battery.

In 2021, General Motors initiated a recall that encompassed all 140,000 Bolt EV and Bolt EUV models across North America. This action was prompted by two distinct flaws in the battery cells provided by their associate, LG, which caused multiple fires. GM committed to swapping out the battery modules in Bolt EVs from 2017 to 2019. A number of these early Bolt EV owners received an entirely new battery, which surprisingly increased their vehicles' driving range beyond what they initially experienced.

2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV Evaluation Update – Portland, OR

Owners of the Bolt EV faced difficulties when, for an extended period prior to a recall solution being revealed, GM advised them to keep their cars at least 50 feet away from other cars when parking. This was particularly troublesome for the majority of owners who reside in city environments. Additionally, GM directed its customers to limit their car's charging capacity to no more than 90%, to recharge their cars more often, to avoid letting the battery level fall under 70 miles, and to ensure the cars are parked outdoors right after being charged.

The occurrences typically took place while the cars were stationary and almost completely charged, yet still connected to a charging station, rather than during operation.

After negotiations, LG consented to reimburse General Motors with a sum of $1.9 billion, essentially addressing the financial burden of the recall, though not accounting for additional aspects such as damage to reputation.

GM's Kansas facility is gearing up for the production of an updated Chevy Bolt EV, anticipated to take over the Malibu's spot, with a probable launch in the latter part of 2025. This new model is slated to transition to GM's Ultium EV architecture and will be the inaugural U.S.-based GM offering to incorporate lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery cells within this framework.

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