Friday, August 12, 2022

Chevy’s Bolt discounts come with up to $6,000 and a big catch

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Chevy has begun offering discounts to some Bolt owners of up to $6,000 as a “goodwill refund” to anyone who bought one of the battery-powered EVs shortly before the company made them significantly cheaper. However, as jalopnik points outtaking the discount means you agree never to sue the company for current or future car or battery issues or to participate in a class action lawsuit related to the Bolt.

Given that Bolt had to be recalled twice after several battery fires (and the fact that the recall was extended to virtually every model of the car), it may be an inconvenient deal for some. However, most of the people actually affected by the battery issues will not be the ones who have to decide whether to take the money or not.

According to Chevy spokesperson Kevin Kelly, the discount is “limited to customers who purchased a Bolt EV/EUV 2020-2022 in the calendar year 2022.” Kelly also indicated that the discount is only offered to people who have purchased “new retail” vehicles from a Chevy dealer. In theory, those cars should all have received the replacement batteries before being put up for sale.

Still, it would be understandable if Bolt owners are suspicious of taking the money, even if they wouldn’t normally be put off by the strong language in the agreement. (Not only is the owner not allowed to sue – nor are their “heirs, agents, servants, beneficiaries, legal representatives, assigns, divisions, executors, successors, [or] administrators.”) A lawyer told: jalopnik that he would warn customers not to take the deal if they had a Bolt they kept in an attached garage in case the historically difficult-to-fix battery problems returned.

One would hope Chevy has been extra cautious this time around — the recalls are estimated to have cost about $2 billion, which the battery supplier, LG Electronics, has agreed to pay for. If new Bolts have similar issues, it will be a PR (and most likely financial) catastrophe for both companies. That said, I don’t envy new Bolt owners because they have to decide if they think the car will be trouble-free enough to take a significant chunk of change.

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