$1,400 instead of a new battery?



General Motors is offering 2020-2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV owners an early $1,400 payment for a class-action lawsuit settlement over the recalled EVs in exchange for installing diagnostic software the automaker plans to use to determine if cars need new battery packs.

First reported by Electrek, the payment offer is the latest development in a saga that has seen GM recall all Bolt EV models and temporarily halt production over defective battery cells from supplier LG that were found to be a fire risk. GM confirmed the offer to Green Car Reports.

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV

“GM is announcing a compensation program for 2020-22 Bolt EV/EUV owners upon installation of the final advanced diagnostic software as part of the original battery recall,” a statement from the automaker read. “Owners are eligible to receive a $1,400 Visa eReward card upon installation. This applies to Bolt EV/EUV owners in the US only. We’re grateful to our customers for their patience and understanding.”

The offer of payment for installation of diagnostic software is being done “in the interest of customer satisfaction and to foster recall completion,” according to an FAQ on the program published by GM. The $1,400 also constitutes an early settlement amount for the class-action lawsuit against GM over the Bolt EV defect. Owners will receive any class settlement amount agreed upon, according to GM, but this offer requires signing a legal release. 

GM in June announced that it would stop replacing battery modules in later 2020-2022 models, instead using software to monitor battery health over a period of 6,200 miles, during which battery capacity is limited to 80%, to see whether or not packs in the later group need replacement. The payment offer is a carrot to ensure owners actually install the necessary software.

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV

GM already said that it would replace all battery modules in an earlier group of Bolt EVs, from model years 2017-2019. A significant number of owners of those defect-prone models have gotten new packs, with some earlier cars even getting more range than they originally had.

Bolt EV production is slated to end this year. Despite a delay of electric trucks due to ramp up at the Bolt EV’s current factory, it’s not giving the small EVs any extension in production into next year.

GM has said that the Bolt EV will return on its Ultium EV platform—with the first U.S. deployment of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cells on that platform—but there’s no timeline given yet.


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