Chevrolet Bolt owners could get $1,400 in settlement over battery defect

People who bought or leased some Chevrolet Bolt EVs could be seeing payments upwards of $1,400 in a proposed settlement over faulty batteries installed in the vehicles.

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General Motors, LG Energy Solutions and LG Electronics reached a settlement to establish a $150 million fund to cover claims over the batteries, which were installed in more than 100,000 Bolts from model years 2017-2022, court records show. The batteries were blamed for several fires due to a fault that could cause them to overheat when they were fully or near-fully charged.

On Thursday, the companies filed a motion asking a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to approve the proposed class action settlement.

“GM, LG Energy Solution and LG Electronics have agreed to a settlement with plaintiffs to resolve class action litigation related to the Bolt EV battery recall,” GM told Reuters in an emailed statement.

“As a result, Bolt owners who received a battery replacement or who have installed the latest advanced diagnostic software may qualify for compensation.”

About 22,560 people who own or lease 2020-2022 Bolts are eligible to get $1,400 as part of the settlement. According to court records, those who agreed to fix the issue in those vehicles before Dec. 31, 2023, were given the option to get their funds early in the form of a Visa eReward card and might be eligible for a second distribution from the proposed settlement.

More than 80,000 other people who own or lease the other affected Bolts, or who sold or terminated leases of the affected vehicles, are eligible for a $700 payout, court records show.

Chevrolet released the Bolt in 2015 with lithium-ion batteries developed and manufactured by LG. Design changes that increased the range of the vehicles introduced a defect that caused the systems to overheat when the battery was fully or near-fully charged, creating a fire hazard, according to court records.

The issue prompted GM to issue a voluntary recall in 2020 and to install diagnostic software into vehicles to “proactively look for the conditions or indications that could lead to a fire,” court records show. However, more fires were reported in the subsequent months. In 2021, GM recalled all Bolts in the U.S.

GM sold just under 25,000 Bolts nationwide before it stopped making the vehicles in December 2023, CBS News reported. Efforts to recall the vehicles cost GM nearly $2 billion, according to NBC News.

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