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

A category motion lawsuit was filed towards Normal Motors alleging that the Chevy Bolt’s battery is “liable to burst into flames.” The lawsuit comes on the heels of GM asserting 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. Particularly, when the batteries within the electrical car are charged to full, or very near full, they pose a threat of fireplace. The lawsuit accuses the corporate of fraud, negligent practices, and “knowingly introducing faulty automobiles into {the marketplace} and defrauding customers throughout the nation.” The plaintiffs are looking for financial damages.

There have been no less than 5 incidents of fires involving Bolts with absolutely charged or virtually absolutely charged batteries, the Detroit News recently reports. Three of these fires are beneath investigation by the Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration, which oversees car defects. GM has discovered two reviews of accidents as a consequence of smoke inhalation. GM issued a recall for 68,667 Chevy Bolts on November thirteenth.

Whereas the investigation continues, GM stated it has developed software program that can restrict car charging to 90 % of full capability to forestall future incidents. Chevy dealerships have been tasked with updating their clients’ car 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 solely purported ‘repair’ to scale back the chance of fireplace is a software program replace that limits the utmost state of cost to roughly 90 % battery capability, thereby decreasing the quantity of mileage that these automobiles can in any other case journey on a full cost,” the attorneys stated in a statement.

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 really 57 kWh. The lawsuit was filed by Bolt proprietor Andres Torres and seeks to be licensed for sophistication motion standing.

“We’re within the midst of executing a security recall on sure 2017-2019 Chevrolet Bolt EVs,” a GM spokesperson stated. “We aren’t going to touch upon any associated litigation.”

GM, which owns Chevy, Cadillac, and GMC, is the most recent automaker to challenge a voluntary recall as a consequence of battery defects. Final yr, Audi recalled over 500 E-Tron SUVs, the corporate’s first all-electric automotive, due to a threat for battery fires. China’s NIO recalled nearly 5,000 of its ES8 electrical SUVs after a number of reviews of battery fires surfaced in 2019.

There’s no proof that electrical automobiles catch hearth at a price that’s any completely different from inside combustion automobiles, however the subject has obtained elevated scrutiny as extra EVs hit the highway. First responders are even being trained to handle EV battery fires since they’ll’t be extinguished through some conventional strategies.

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