Chevrolet Bolt Batteries May Catch Fire When Fully Charged Class Action

General Motors, LLC makes Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles, says the complaint for this class action, which have defective batteries “which pose a significant fire risk when charged to full or near full capacity.” Frighteningly, the complaint claims, “The fire risk stemming from the defective high voltage batteries is present even when the vehicle is off, is parked, and is not receiving a charge.”

The class for this action is all persons who bought or leased a 2017-2019 Chevrolet Bolt in the US. There is also a California Subclass for those who live in California and bought or leased their Bolts in California.

GM claims, “A certain number of these vehicles were built with high voltage cells produced at LG Chem’s Ochang, [South] Korea facility that may pose a risk of fire when charged to full, or very close to full, capacity.”

The complaint alleges that GM knew about the battery defect a while ago and continued to sell and lease the vehicles without telling would-be customers about it.

Not only that; while GM issued a recall in November 2020 for more than 50,000 vehicles, the complaint aims that it is not actually replacing the defective batteries. Instead, it is installing a software update that prevents the battery from becoming more than 90% charged. This reduces the vehicles’ range, that is, the distance that they can travel without recharging. The range is an important feature of an electric vehicle, because it cannot be recharged as quickly as a gasoline vehicle can be refilled with gas.

When plaintiff Caspar Rankin went car shopping, the vehicle’s range was an important feature, because he needed a vehicle that could do a round trip that would let him make a round trip to pick up or drop off his daughter at his in-laws’ home. The complaint alleges, “This trip is not possible with limited range.”

In fact, the complaint says, “The effect of the software update on Mr. Rankin’s vehicle will be especially severe since he estimates he currently receives 201 miles on a full battery. Limiting his battery to only accept a 90% charge will reduce Mr. Rankin’s range to abut 180 miles.”

It also asserts, “This will add upwards of an hour to his trip in order for the car to recharge enough for Mr. Rankin to finish his trip.” The cost, too, will go up, the complaint says: “Mr. Rankin’s approximate nighttime charging cost is nine cents per kilowatt hour. Roadside chargers, however, cost approximately 38 cents per kilowatt hour, which amounts to more than four times what he would otherwise pay.”

The complaint notes a previous problem with the Bolt’s propulsion system that caused the vehicle to stop while driving because of insufficient charge, even though the car’s indicator showed sufficient charge. The fires seem to have begun after these problems.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Automobile

Most Recent Case Event

Chevrolet Bolt Batteries May Catch Fire When Fully Charged Complaint

December 11, 2020

General Motors, LLC makes Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles, says the complaint for this class action, which have defective batteries “which pose a significant fire risk when charged to full or near full capacity.” Frighteningly, the complaint claims, “The fire risk stemming from the defective high voltage batteries is present even when the vehicle is off, is parked, and is not receiving a charge.”

Chevrolet Bolt Batteries May Catch Fire When Fully Charged Complaint

Case Event History

Chevrolet Bolt Batteries May Catch Fire When Fully Charged Complaint

December 11, 2020

General Motors, LLC makes Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles, says the complaint for this class action, which have defective batteries “which pose a significant fire risk when charged to full or near full capacity.” Frighteningly, the complaint claims, “The fire risk stemming from the defective high voltage batteries is present even when the vehicle is off, is parked, and is not receiving a charge.”

Chevrolet Bolt Batteries May Catch Fire When Fully Charged Complaint
Tags: Battery, Defective Automobile, Fire