2023-11-27 Chevrolet Bolt Customers Lured With Hefty "Discounts" to Keep Quiet About Future Problems - autoevolution

Chevrolet Bolt Customers Lured With Hefty "Discounts" to Keep Quiet About Future Problems

Chevrolet recently slashed the prices of its Bolt EV/EUV electric vehicles by a sizeable $6,000, a move that made the Bolt the most affordable EV on sale right now. Those that bought a Bolt just before it was discounted were not left empty-handed, as GM offered to pay them a cash rebate. But this comes with strings attached, including waiving all rights to sue GM over the vehicle.
Chevrolet Bolt customers lured with hefty “discounts” to keep quiet about future problems 6 photos
Photo: Chevrolet
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The Chevy Bolt will remain in history as the vehicle that was supposed to kill competition from Tesla. Instead, it was one step away from killing GM’s EV program and sealing the fate of its battery supplier LG Chem. After much drama and a recall that cost LG Chem $1.9 billion to replace the faulty batteries, Chevrolet restarted Bolt production this April. As expected, people didn’t flock to buy the Bolt, so GM has decided to drop the price to the point that it is now the cheapest EV you can buy in the U.S.

The latest price cut lowered the Bolt EV’s base price to $26,595. GM did not want to alienate customers who bought the Bolt just before the price cut (or so they said), so they offered them a comparable cash rebate. But according to a Jalopnik tipster, the cash rebate comes with very restrictive conditions, which remind us of a recent agreement GM offered to Cadillac Lyriq customers.

When the Jalopnik reader wanted to claim the rebate (which GM dubs “goodwill reimbursement”), he was presented with an agreement that needed to be acknowledged and signed before going further. According to the document, Bolt owners applying for the rebate agree to waive the right to sue GM or LG for damages, including those caused by the battery catching fire.

“I [...] forever waive and release all claims, damages, or causes of action, either known or unknown [...] that I may have now or in the future arising out of or in any way relating to my Bolt vehicle(s), the battery defect, or the battery recalls,” reads the document.

Jalopnik reached out to a lawyer for an opinion and learned that GM is offering not a rebate but a legal release. Chevrolet Bolt owners are lured to give up their rights to raise legal claims against GM in exchange for the “rebate.” This means that if a customer’s Bolt catches fire while parked in a garage and their garage (or worse, their house) burns down, they’d be barred from suing GM or LG.

This does not mean that the customer waives claims involving any potential recalls in the future. By law, GM would still be required to issue recalls when needed, contact the owners, and offer no-cost repairs or upgrades. But they will be prohibited from seeking financial compensation for damages generated by current or future problems with the car. If that’s acceptable to you, probably the $6,000 rebate looks enticing.
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About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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