Lemon Law Provides Solutions for Chevy Bolt Owners
Chevy Bolt owners are turning to lemon law after continued problems getting their Bolt properly repaired in battery recalls.
In 2020, the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation into the Chevrolet Bolt, in particular its battery, after a number of reported incidents of the battery catching fire. This led to multiple recalls of the Bolt, eventually affecting ALL Chevy Bolt EVs and EUVs. However, almost 2 years after the first Bolt battery recall, many Bolt owners have still been unable to get the necessary repairs to their Bolt. For these owners, lemon law is providing them with options to get compensation and a road forward.
What did the Bolt recalls do?
The first Bolt recall provided a software update that did not repair the defect in the battery but limited its charging capacity to 90%. Investigations had shown that there was a higher risk of the battery catching fire if it was charged above 90%, therefore GM attempted to limit this risk while they worked on an actual repair of the problem.
Later recalls identified the issue with the Bolt battery and announced that it would be replaced free of charge. Some Bolt owners continued to have problems after a first recall repair, prompting more recalls, and many have been unable to get recall repairs done at all. Until all recall repairs are complete, Chevy continues to advise owners to:
- Not charge the Bolt battery above 90% capacity;
- Avoid depleting the battery to below 70 miles of remaining use; and
- Park outside after charging and at night.
A software update announced in December 2021 which automatically sets the Bolt battery charging capacity to 80% allows Bolt owners to deplete their battery and park indoors, according to Chevy, however this is a temporary solution and the battery should still be replaced.
What is the latest update on the Bolt battery recall?
The current recall is supposed to completely eliminate any fire risk in the Chevy Bolt. Chevy identified the defect in the Bolt battery and placed the blame squarely on the battery manufacturer, LG. The fire risk occurs as a result of two different manufacturing defects – a torn anode tabe and a folded separator. Replacing the defective battery with a new battery should correct the problem.
However, LG and Chevy have been unable to produce enough new batteries for all Bolt vehicles leading to huge delays in recall repairs. Chevy has told its customers that it is “working aggressively to have replacement modules available as soon as possible” but meanwhile Chevy Bolt owners have restrictions on their use and charging capacity, and live with the fear of their vehicle catching on fire.
How can lemon law help?
Lemon law protects people who have recently purchased a vehicle from being stuck with problems in that vehicle. It makes manufacturers repair significant defects in recently purchased (or sometimes leased) vehicles within a reasonable time. If the manufacturer does not repair the defect, the owner may be entitled to a replacement vehicle or reimbursement of the purchase price. Each state’s lemon laws are slightly different but a lemon lawyer can advise you on the laws in your state.
It should not be necessary to bring a lemon law claim if the problem in your vehicle has been addressed in a recall. The repairs should be made by your dealer free of charge to you. However, even in a recall situation, the problem vehicle should be repaired in a reasonable time. If the dealer cannot get the parts for the repair or does not carry out the repairs for another reason, the owner can bring a lemon law claim against the manufacturer. Many Chevy Bolt owners who have been waiting for months for their Bolt battery to be replaced do not realize that they are eligible to bring a lemon law claim.
If you are still waiting for your Chevy Bolt battery to be replaced, you should contact an experienced lemon law attorney to discuss your options. You may be able to get your purchase price reimbursed, a replacement vehicle, or another settlement. Many owners in the current market prefer a cash and keep settlement in which they can keep their vehicle (with the full warranty) and get an agreed amount of cash compensation. Your attorney should be able to explain more about options for settlement in your individual situation.
At Timothy Abeel & Associates, we have been helping Chevy Bolt owners who are awaiting battery recall repairs or having other problems with their Chevy Bolt. If you want more information about how lemon law can help or would like to speak to an experienced lemon law attorney about your Bolt problems, contact us today online or by calling 888-611-5481.