Chevy Bolt batteries were catching fire, and now there’s a class action lawsuit

A class action lawsuit was filed in opposition to General Motors alleging that the Chevy Bolt’s battery is “prone to burst into flames.” The lawsuit comes on the heels of GM saying that it was recalling 68,000 Bolts over a malfunctioning battery.

The lawsuit, which was filed in Northern District of Illinois, claims that the Bolt’s battery is flawed and harmful. Specifically, when the batteries within the electrical automobile are charged to full, or very near full, they pose a danger of fireplace. The lawsuit accuses the corporate of fraud, negligent practices, and “knowingly introducing defective vehicles into the marketplace and defrauding consumers across the country.” The plaintiffs are looking for financial damages.

There have been at the least 5 incidents of fires involving Bolts with totally charged or nearly totally charged batteries, the Detroit News just lately experiences. Three of these fires are below investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which oversees automobile defects. GM has discovered two experiences of accidents on account of smoke inhalation. GM issued a recall for 68,667 Chevy Bolts on November thirteenth.

While the investigation continues, GM stated it has developed software program that may restrict automobile charging to 90 % of full capability to stop future incidents. Chevy dealerships have been tasked with updating their prospects’ automobile battery software program starting on November seventeenth to restrict the utmost state of cost to 90 %.

The plaintiff’s attorneys argue that the software program patch renders the Bolt much less efficient. “GM’s only purported ‘fix’ to reduce the risk of fire is a software update that limits the maximum state of charge to approximately 90 percent battery capacity, thereby reducing the amount of mileage that these vehicles can otherwise travel on a full charge,” the attorneys stated in a assertion.

The plaintiffs additionally accuse GM of exaggerating the Bolt’s capabilities. The automaker says the Bolt’s battery capability is 60 kWh, whereas the plaintiffs declare it’s truly 57 kWh. The lawsuit was filed by Bolt proprietor Andres Torres and seeks to be licensed for class action standing.

“We are in the midst of executing a safety recall on certain 2017-2019 Chevrolet Bolt EVs,” a GM spokesperson stated. “We are not going to comment on any related litigation.”

GM, which owns Chevy, Cadillac, and GMC, is the newest automaker to difficulty a voluntary recall on account of battery defects. Last yr, Audi recalled over 500 E-Tron SUVs, the corporate’s first all-electric automotive, due to a danger for battery fires. China’s NIO recalled almost 5,000 of its ES8 electrical SUVs after a number of experiences of battery fires surfaced in 2019.

There’s no proof that electrical autos catch fireplace at a fee that’s any totally different from inner combustion vehicles, however the subject has obtained elevated scrutiny as extra EVs hit the highway. First responders are even being skilled to deal with EV battery fires since they will’t be extinguished by way of some conventional strategies.

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