Chevrolet Bolt Lithium-Ion Battery and Charging Fires Class Action

No purchaser of an electric vehicle would be happy to discover that an “interim fix” for a defect in it involves lowering the amount of charge it will take, thereby lowering the number of miles it can travel without recharging. But it’s probably better than having a fully-charged battery burst into flames. The complaint for this class action alleges that General Motors manufactured the Chevrolet Bolt with a dangerous flaw in the battery that makes such a choice necessary.

The class for this action is all persons in the US who bought or leased, not for resale, a 2017-2019 Chevrolet Bolt. Arizona and Washington Subclasses have also been defined for persons in those states who bought the vehicles.

When one of the plaintiffs in this case, F. Dayle Andersen, wanted to buy an electric car, he was attracted to the Bolt because of its purportedly “well engineered battery thermal management system,” which the complaint says supposedly “helps to cool the battery and reduce the risk of fires.” He and his wife bought their Bolt in August 2018, and the complaint alleges that no one informed them that the battery had a defect.

GM introduced the Bolt in 2016. GM touted its “unprecedented supplier relationship combining expertise in infotainment, battery systems and component development with GM’s proven in-house capabilities in electric motor design, battery control, system validation and vehicle body/system integration.”

A company called LG Corp. designed and produced the actual batteries in a South Korean facility. The battery’s range was an important selling point, since electric vehicles can’t travel as far on a full charge as gasoline-powered cars on a single tank of gas and cannot be recharged as quickly as a gas tank can be refilled.

The Bolt was supposed to have a range of 238 miles before it needed recharging.

The car is equipped with a 60 kWh 350 V lithium-ion battery. While these have certain advantages, the complaint alleges they also have “a well-documented history of fire issues.” It says, “On information and belief, the Class Vehicles are equipped with Defective Batteries that are susceptible to catching fire when fully charged.”

The complaint reproduces postings about smoke or fires from charging vehicles have been submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) database.

In November 2020, GM announced a recall of 50,000 Chevy Bolts. The recall will not replace the battery; instead, it will apply a software reprogramming that will limit the recharging capacity to 90%. Until then, GM has warned owners not to park their Bolts in their garages or carports to avoid the risk of fire and damage to their garages and homes.

This software update reduces the range of the vehicle.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Automobile

Most Recent Case Event

Chevrolet Bolt Lithium-Ion Battery and Charging Fires Complaint

December 11, 2020

No purchaser of an electric vehicle would be happy to discover that an “interim fix” for a defect in it involves lowering the amount of charge it will take, thereby lowering the number of miles it can travel without recharging. But it’s probably better than having a fully-charged battery burst into flames. The complaint for this class action alleges that General Motors manufactured the Chevrolet Bolt with a dangerous flaw in the battery that makes such a choice necessary.

Chevrolet Bolt Lithium-Ion Battery and Charging Fires Complaint

Case Event History

Chevrolet Bolt Lithium-Ion Battery and Charging Fires Complaint

December 11, 2020

No purchaser of an electric vehicle would be happy to discover that an “interim fix” for a defect in it involves lowering the amount of charge it will take, thereby lowering the number of miles it can travel without recharging. But it’s probably better than having a fully-charged battery burst into flames. The complaint for this class action alleges that General Motors manufactured the Chevrolet Bolt with a dangerous flaw in the battery that makes such a choice necessary.

Chevrolet Bolt Lithium-Ion Battery and Charging Fires Complaint
Tags: Battery, Defective Automobile, Fire