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Both the Bolt EV and EUV are being criticized for risk of fires.
Ever since the Chevrolet Bolt has been catching on fire, a crisis that started to take place in late 2020, the compact EV and EUV variants have been subjected to a series of criticisms and proposed resolutions. Sometime after the first incident, it was claimed that the battery packs it received from South Korea's LG Chem were the cause of all this drama.
Despite finding somewhat of a fix, General Motors is facing a class-action lawsuit alleging that the Bolt range is unsafe to drive because of this fire risk. It is stated that the Bolt is not fit for normal use because of how the batteries can ignite when the cars are fully charged or if they fall below the 70-mile range figure.
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California plaintiff David Kennedy has detailed that customers also cannot park their cars inside because of the risk that the battery fire causes. The class action goes on to accuse GM of not appropriately resolving the issue and prioritizing profits over the safety of its consumers. The plaintiff leased a 2022 model in July 2021 for $31,995 with a down payment of $6,000 and monthly lease payments of $271.65. This is set to continue for 35 months.
He adds that he entered the lease agreement with the belief that he would be able to store his Bolt safely and operate it as per the manufacturer's claimed battery and mileage capacity. One month after the lease was initiated, GM announced the recall for the Bolt and restricted the battery capacity to 90 percent. He also states that the manufacturer advised him against parking his car within the confinements of his home.
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A quote from the class action lawsuit states: "Defendant's warning that consumers should not charge the Vehicles past 90 percent drops the advertised mileage capacity from 259 to 233.10 miles. Taking into consideration that consumers cannot allow the miles remaining on the Vehicle to fall below 70 miles, the battery range falls further to 163.10 miles - that is, 62.97 percent of the advertised mileage."
The lawsuit claims that the plaintiff has resultantly been required to make adjustments to his daily life to accommodate this fault which goes against what he initially expected his ownership experience with the Bolt to be. As a result, he claims that he has suffered constant anxiety and has lost sleep with the idea of an imminent fire that could destroy his Bolt.
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In May last year, Chevrolet began a procedure to purchase back Bolts that could catch fire. A few months after that, it had launched a recall program that saw it replacing the five lithium-ion modules within the battery pack. Early estimations stated that this could have cost the company $11,600 per car which is a hefty sum when you consider that the recall was issued to about 69,000 owners.
Just a few days ago, Chevrolet said that it could prove Bolts would not catch fire. To do this, it announced that it would be sending owners a certified window cling that users can interact with to assure that the condition of the battery is safe and secure. Drivers, parking lot attendants, and garage owners can scan the QR code on the cling to gain access to the confirmation that all is well.
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